Finished novel that prompted my post on having a blast, but not before encountering more anachronisms, including a character referring to the First World War. Not The Great War. Not The 14-18 War. Not even just The War. In 1928. Sigh
eBook downside: cannot throw book across room in disgust. Well, you could, but…
I am reminded of a Nero Wolfe novel in which Archie Goodwin is shocked to find the great detective standing at the fireplace ripping pages from a brand-new dictionary and feeding them to the flames. Wolfe dismisses Archie’s sarcasm about book-burning and points out that he paid for the book himself so it is his to dispose of how he pleases.
I have a few times abandoned books, but rarely. As a very young reader, when I would finish a book I would immediately flip back to page one and keep reading. Voracious appetite, never enough books. I can still picture my tattered copy of Little Women, its cheap but colorful cover falling off. Loved off? And I was raised to respect books: no dog-ears, no setting an open book face down, and certainly no writing in a book—not even in pencil. A book was a holy thing to my nine-year-old self. Reading one just once was the worst review. Well, I did not finish The Pilgrim’s Progress. But I was nine. I did finish War and Peace at fifteen.
Nowadays, I am less patient, perhaps because I can now afford to be picky. I probably won’t give James Joyce another go. I never finished The Prize: the Epic Quest for Oil, Money, and Power. But I kept it on my nightstand for ages. Great defense against insomnia. I take full advantage of the Look Inside option on Amazon. Saves money and time. Thanks to Project Gutenberg, it cost nothing to try The Pilgrim’s Progress again. Didn’t even make it to the Slough of Despond. Not to my taste. And I don’t bother with Stephen King, John Gresham or Dean Koontz.
Whenever I get a little money, I buy books. Then, if there is any left over, I buy food and clothing. —Petronius Arbiter, c. 212 C. E. (I think. From memory—didn’t check)