Monday, August 2, 2010

All I Can Do Is Show You The Path

I read for different reasons at different times, and I believe in working to find the right book at the right time. I also believe in not reading a book that doesn’t feel right. If I’m not enjoying a book by page fifty, I put it down and find something else. This doesn’t mean I have to like it; so maybe I should say if I’m not compelled by a book by page fifty I put it down. The Corrections, for example, I hated like I’ve hated no other book, but for some reason I could not stop reading it. I think I enjoyed hating it. I had as much disdain for the writer as I sensed the writer had for his characters.

At any rate. I usually read because I like to; I read to learn; I read to escape; I read for all the reasons we all read. But the reason I read like an addiction is because when I was a kid I read The Chronicles of Narnia or Harriet the Spy or The Boxcar Kids, whichever one came first, and it gave me that feeling (cause all those books gave me that feeling), the one where you get real irritated when you’re reading and someone talks to you, calls you to dinner and won’t let you read at the table, tries to get you to pay attention to something in school. As a grown-up I get that feeling less often, that rush of wanting nothing more than to sit and let a story consume me. I always enjoy reading, but there’s a different kind of urgency I get every so often, a physical pull in my body that makes me need to stay in a story.

That’s one hell of a long lead in to tell you about The Passage. I heard about it at BEA, there was all this hype, and I’m really not into hype. I’m naturally too super cool to buy into whatever you tell me I need to buy into, so I kept looking at it and walking past it and not picking it up and not reading it. This weekend I let myself take a little peek. I read the first page and a half and put it back on the shelf. I walked to the other side of the bookstore and experimented with not thinking about it. It didn’t work. 

We went home together and we’ve been inseparable ever since. In fact, the only reason I’m writing this right now and not reading is because my insane desire for this book is so strong that it’s compelled me to tell you all to go by it, or download it on your silly kindle or whatever. I don’t care how you do it. It’s the right time.

1 comment:

  1. Kat!

    it was lovely seeing you last night at jeffrey's show. i'm so excited i finally took the time to read your insights into and enthusiasm for books. it's a pleasure to have someone LOVE something shamelessly and intelligently at the same time. your reviews feel heartfelt but not sentimental. honest, but not critical. it seems to me that only a writer could write something like this. and so one day i hope to read a blog that asks all of us in the cyber world, "have you read this book by Kat...?"

    it reminds me of a eudora welty quote: "For all I know, writing comes from a higher devotion to reading."

    yes. it shows here in your words exactly.

    love and thanks,