plane reading.

November 25, 2009

Due to my extensive traveling this month, I actually got down to doing some reading. I’m always depressed by how few books I read. This problem is mostly due to how many blogs I read. But blogs are not books; Internet writing is extremely different that literary writing and it’s probably killing my attention span. In fact, the “blogger getting a book deal” phenomenon will most likely be the world’s literary downfall. I’m also very picky about the books I like, which makes me very hesitant to finish books I don’t like right away. I’m a slow reader and if I’m not going to like a book, I don’t want to spend all that time reading it. So I tend to read easy, plot-driven books that I don’t have to think to hard to pick up the themes (I’m not a critical thinker when I read).

But the point this time is that I did read – The Guinea Pig Diaries (by A.J. Jacobs) and Bridget Jones’ Diary (by Helen Fielding). The Guinea Pig Diaries was a fun read. It’s about the experiments Jacobs decides to do in his own life – radical honesty, posing nude, outsourcing his life, etc. In fact, it’s probably a pretty good example of that blogger-book-deal bit. A.J. Jacobs was an editor for Esquire, so each chapter of the book was like a magazine article (or a long blog post). Since the chapters aren’t related, it makes it easy to put down and pick back up again – perfect for my attention span.

Bridget Jones’ Diary was unbelievably disappointing. Actually, I didn’t have very high expectations, but I disliked it so much that I almost stopped despite being halfway through and it being easy reading. I finished because I had a six hour plane ride and nothing else to do. I have to say, the movie, which I also don’t like, stays relatively true to the book, so it was pretty early that I determined I wasn’t going to like it. Two major complaints remained consistent though. First, I like to read full sentences and this book just did not always follow that convention. I know it’s stylistic – kind of like when authors spell words wrong in order to convey accents. But it’s ridiculously annoying. Second, though Bridget may be the penultimate female (god I hope not), she’s an awful character. Between her and Bella in Twilight, I would be torn as to which is the worse girl. At least with Bella’s lack of personality, I can make up my own. But Bridget has an annoying personality that is the driving factor of the book – it basically hits you over the head again and again.

One comment

  1. I like AJ Jacobs’ books. At least, I liked The Year of Living Biblically. He apparently has decided to have the literary equivalent of a reality TV show. And I usually hate reality TV, that’s why I’m surprised I like his books.

    As far as you reading less because you’re reading blogs – I think that’s interesting. For the most part I only read blogs during my lunch break at work. I read books in the evening or on plane rides when (until wifi on planes is cheaper and they add power outlets) you can’t read blogs.

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