Wednesday, 19 January 2005

The Strangely Heavy Mr. Norrel

I'm having problems reading Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (JS&MN), not because of the contents and story of the book, but because the darn book is so bloody THICK and HEAVY.

One of the reasons why I can usually finish books relatively quickly is not because I read very fast, or I have a lot of time to just sit down and read; but because I like to bring my books around in my backpack, and just whip it out whenever I am waiting for something, or whenever I have time to kill.

Well, JS&MN is not a book that one can just 'whip' out of a bag.

'HEAVE' would be more like it.

The book has more than 800 pages, is about the size of a dictionary (the real, thick dictionaries, not those pathetic pocket-sized ones), and is bloody H-E-A-V-Y.

I can't bring it around without breaking my back (and bag too, for that matter), and when I do, it takes up so much space that I have hardly any more space in the bag for the rest of my stuff.

I can't read it in the car, because when I rest it on the steering wheel, the horn goes off.

I can't bring it to the toilet to read even, because people look at me funny.

Heck, people look at me funny no matter where or when I take it out to read. Some even avoided me on the LRT while I was HEAVING it out of my backpack. (They probably thought I was loony for bringing that piece of brick around).

So far, I'm up to 300 pages of the book, and I have to say that it is darn good book. No wonder so many Best-Book-of-2004 lists also included this book, no mean feat for a book that is stuck in the 'fantasy' genre (a genre that is usually scoffed at by 'real' readers of literature ).

But for now, I'm not reading it as much as I would like to. I've resorted to forcing myself to read it for at least one hour every night before bed (and after my Cartoon Network shows), just so I can finish it and get the review out (which Daphne has been chasing me for for ages).

Oh well. At least by the time I am through with the book, I'd probably have a lot more muscles in my arms from lifting the book too often (Which would probably look rather weird, considering the rest of me is as skinny as a lamp post).

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