Recently, having discovered I’d never read Middlemarch (I could have sworn I’d read it during my all classics all the time phase in my early 20s), I set out to read it. And… I just can’t get into it. Perhaps that is too strong. I don’t dislike it (oops double negative, but 2 negatives don’t mean I do like it). I want to discover what happens, even though I don’t understand why Dorathea married Causabon or why so young (give it some time, see who else comes along, pull a Lizzie Bennett). Then she vanishes from the story for what seems an extended period of time. But I digress. I’m 140 pages in and I find myself just not picking the book up. Just not doing it.
Then I stumbled across Ann Patchett, recorded on a panel discussion where she explains that she does not eat meat because of Wilbur in Charlotte’s Web. Well, I don’t eat meat because of Wilbur in Charlotte’s Web. I was so distraught about the circle of life described in that book, I can barely describe it, and certainly not to my meat and potatos parents. I’d never heard of anyone else with such a strong Wilbur reaction. I’m also familiar with Ann Patchett because she opened a physical bookstore, crimy! Once again I was surprised to realize I’d never read anything by her. So I fired up Scribd (sorry Oyster, they had an Android app first AND have audio books), picked out one of her titles, The Magician’s Assistant, and read it in one day. It was wonderful.
Lesson: read what you want! Go where your heard tells you to go!
P.S. I do want to read Middlemarch. I want to know what Rebecca Mead sees in it to write a whole book on her multiple readings of it. I suppose now is just not the right time for me.