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Sunday, August 07, 2005

Lousy literati.

Does anyone after having read a book, remember everything that happened in that book? Or even half of what happened? Or even any of the main characters? I've found that about a month after reading any book, it would be lucky if I remember any of the plot at all. Nobody remembers that stuff. So I ask you this: If you can't remember much more of a book besides what can be found in any internet summary, why read any more of it than that brief summary? There's no point in doing so.

And what makes books so great anyway? Are they really that much better than television or movies? To quote Matilda, one of the greatest movies of all time, "there's nothing you can get from a book that you can't get from t.v. faster." I suppose the only reason people read nowadays at all is because the particular book they're reading hasn't been made into a full-length movie or a USA original series yet.

I hate people who read books more than once. Especially mystery novels. I think they do it just so they can feel smarter and superior to the unfortunate characters. Don't go in there, the murderer is waiting in there! BANG! I told you. Pathetic. Personally, I can't wait to get through a book just to be done with it. As I read, I check every few minutes to see how thick the pages I have yet to read are. Holy crap, I've already read like 1 and a half centimeters! If only I knew what this book is about. I then admire how much I had read for a while until I get bored. Then I put the book back on the shelf as I've been taught, and proudly ask my mom to get me an even harder book by this Seuss fellow.

But don't get the wrong idea. I thoroughly enjoy reading basically anything. No matter what crap you hand me, chances are that I will enjoy it. I also enjoy most any books suggested to me. I may not be a connoisseur of literature, but who wants to be a connoisseur anyway? I get enough excrement handed to me as it is, without having the word "sewer" in my title.

As useless and inefficient as books are, they are still a part of our society. And until we find some way to dispose of these books in a quick and efficient manner, we will have to continue to resort to mass book-burning parties the way our forefathers intended.

If anyone has any suggestions for books I should read, feel free to tell me and I promise that I might feign interest.


Rivers is my hero said...

Books are hard to read.

Rivers is my hero said...

Almost as hard as this blog! Ha ha!

compulsive writer said...

Read in order to live.
- Gustave Flaubert, Letter, June 1857

Ouch! The English major in me just wants to cry! I don't know where to start...

Quoting "Matilda" the movie to prove your point not only fails to make your case, it also does a huge disservice to Matilda, the main character, who lived, ate, and breathed books.

Some of us hope to read a book long before it becomes a movie because we want to see whatever world the author opens up to us from inside our own head, not from the perspective of some crazy ill-tempered producer.

Some of us love to reread a good book not because we feel superior to the protagonist, but because we want to revisit whatever time, place or people carried us away and allowed us to escape from our own unimaginative lives--for a time at least--in the first place. It's like going back to your favorite place to go on vacation.

And because I like you, Matt. I will recommend a few good books in hopes that someday it will not be said of you: He knew everything about literature except how to enjoy it. - Joseph Heller, "Catch 22"

"Reading Lolita in Tehran"
Beware, this book raises your awareness of the plight of the oppressed and provokes deep thought and inner dilemma.

"The Eyre Affair" by Jasper Fforde
According to the NY Times: "combination of fantasy, comedy, science fiction, Douglas Adams, Kurt Vonnegut, Lewis Carroll, Monty Python and even 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'"
(note it will entertain you like a cult movie and a hit TV show...)

"The Killer Angels"
After your read it (it gets more interesting after the first 40 pages) you can sit down with Mom and Dad have an intelligent and passionate discussion about Gettysburg.

compulsive writer said...

Isn't it ironic...a Google ad at the bottom of your blog is for the following:

Book Lust by Nancy Pearl
It reads: Got Book Lust? America's favorite librarian knows what to read next

I'm laughing all the way to the library.

The Amazing Spider-Fan said...

Hey Mat6t, is that guy up there the курятина you were talking about?

Marlsven said...

I once considered removing those ads on the bottom of my blog, but this is like the third time is has had something ironic pertaining to my latest post.

rob: naw, that isn't the курятина. I think we should give compulsive writer a warm welcome to the blogging world and more specifically our little blogging community. In the words of Gary Larson, "Welcome to hell, here's your accordion."

compulsive writer said...

Thanks Mat6t. You're the best! (But I guess you have to be--I know where you live.)

The Stunningly Handsome Nate Perkins said...

Yeah, I didn't read the book, but you know what I liked about the movie? No reading.

b. robertson said...

The Da Vinci Code. I am reading it right now, and I don't know if it's a "good" book, but I am very intriqued by it. And, the Screwtape Letters. Alex and I were talking about these books just today - I really enjoyed Screwtape Letters.

Marlsven said...

yeah, I've read both the screwtape letters and the da vinci code. I enjoyed both, but the da vinci code definitely had more action.

hmmm, reading lolita in tehran. Actually, I'm currently brainstorming a book to write entitled, Reading Lolita in Provo. I'm about half way reading lolita, so I'll get back to you. In Lolita, there are a few gross images described and the overall plot is very interesting but a little...strange I guess. Anyone not allowed to watch PG 13 movies probably wouldn't want to read it.

compulsive writer said...

That's the beauty of reading "Reading Lolita in Tehran." You don't have to actually read "Lolita."
One of the reasons I found the book so thought provoking and at times disturbing is because it occurred to me that reading "Lolita" in Provo perhaps isn't as far removed from reading "Lolita" in Tehran as one would hope.

J Rock! said...

i thoroughly enjoyed american gods by neil gaiman. that's the same guy who does the sandman comics, er, graphic novels. the autobiography of ben franklin is hilarious and i found the glasswright's saga by mindy l. klasky to be surprisingly good fantasy fare.