Thursday, October 7, 2010

Don't ever change people even if you can.(Jefferson Airplane)

I very very very rarely read two books at once. I just can't hold the concentration. If I've ever done it, it's because one of them isn't doing it for me, so I slip into something a little more comfortable.

I can't recall ever reading two really engrossing books at once. Never happens. If I'm engrossed, I become consumed by the world inside the book and don't want to leave. It has always been thus.

How 'bout three? Impossible. Inconceivable.

Well I thought so...until right now.

Somehow I find myself doing the impossible - reading three superb books at the same time!!!

The three in question are: The Lost World (Arthur Conan Doyle) which I'm reading on my Kobo e-reader; The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (Stieg Larsson) and Eats, Shoots and Leaves (Lynne Truss). These last two are being read in old technology.

How did this happen? Well it helps that I'm in the middle of the longest holiday I've ever had (I haven't been employed since the end of July and I've been reading A LOT).

Of course, it's impossible to actually read three books at once. The eyes can only focus on and decode one set of symbols at a time. Trendy bookish people usually say they have three 'on the go'.

I've taken to alternating each book, a chapter at a time. It's quite tough leaving the old one, picking up the new book and re-engaging with the narrative. But somehow the style differences in my three choices make it easy to do. I actually look forward to each book in turn.

The Lost World is a bit of a revelation. I love the lost world premise and previously I've read the Edgar Rice Burroughs' books on the theme (The Lost Continent) but had no idea Conan Doyle had a similar story to tell. It is delightfully dated in style, but very cinematic. I was stunned to find a film version in a recent gander through the Warehouse's DVDs. Cost $2.99 and stars Patrick Bergin (mmm - who?). I want to wait until I've finished the book before I take a look. I'm hoping it's delightfully dated in style as well.

Sallie kindly lent me a number of books recently - three Lynne Truss books and the three parts to The Millennium Trilogy (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is the first). She warned me that it took her about 50 pages to really get hooked. I liked the novel from the start but I fell in love at page 82 when the thriller/who dunnit plot is firmly established. I am finding that I am increasingly drawn to books written in translation (in this case from Swedish). The language takes on some new and interesting twists!

Speaking of language - Lynne Truss has the market cornered on quirky books on manners and stickler hood. She is definitely becoming the patron saint of sticklers everywhere. I am one of those people who laments the death of the apostrophe (and if it's not dead, it sure smells funny). I hate inappropriately written shop signs with a passion and I have taken to actively correcting the errors on menus and the like (menu's anyone?). I can't change the inner pedant!

Okay - enough blogging - I need to get back to Mr Malone, Mr Blomkvist and Miss Demeanour (she of the failed punctuation).

Love and Peace - Wozza


Overeducated Twit said...

I typically have somewhere between 2 and 5 going at a given time. I believe my current count is "only" two--Elizabeth Bear's "New Amsterdam" and Maya Angelou's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" (the latter of which I sort of temporarily misplaced...). Like you've found, it's best when they're significantly different books--helps keep things straight while providing a delicious bit of variety :).

Wozza said...

I'm in serious awe. Five!!! I am more of the lumpen male variety (do one job at a time, do it well, forget about it instantly) so the multi-tasking involved in reading five books is way beyond me. I love the title of Angelou's book - may have to seek that one out. Thanks for visiting too!