To read or not to read, or something like that.

“When I’m really into a novel, I’m seeing the world differently during that time – not just for the hour or so in the day when I get to read. I’m actually walking around in a haze, spellbound by the book and looking at everything through a different prism.”
― Colin Firth

And how do one really get into a novel? Or in fact any piece of writing?
I think it’s all about how well written something is.

When I was younger, I thought people read Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Dante and Shakespeare because they wanted others to think they were classy and educated. And in fact a bit wannabe-posh.

I won’t pretend I’ve read much of either Tolstoy or Dostoyevsky, but I’ve actually read Dante’s Divine Comedy, and half of The Brothers Karamazov. And believe it or not – I did it just because I wanted to, and not to brag about it. I intend to finish The Brothers Karamazov in due time.

What makes me want to read a book, a magazine, a fanfic or anything, is the flow, and the general feeling. I want to be convinced. I’m not sure why I’m convinced at some times, and at others not. For instance, I first read the Hobbit at the age of 18 (ok – I know I should have done it way before, but anyway…). It contains hobbits, wizards, dwarfs, elves and a dragon, and everything that is supposed to make it a great book. I love the story, but I can’t stand the way it’s written. It’s fairly easy to read, and quite obviously some kind of children’s book. I’m usually quite a fast reader, but I think I read it in two weeks. That’s desperately slow! When I went on to read Lord of the Rings, I read the first two books in three days – while studying. I had to wait a bit to read the third, because it was sold out at that time, but I must have read it in a day or two. Quite fascinating, actually. I’m not quite sure why I thought it was so much easier to read. My only conclution, is that it’s written in a manner that appeals to me.

I think the Harry Potter series is a joy to read, even though the first two books is clearly written for a younger audience than me.  A friend of me was totally taken by  the Twilight saga, and I thought I’d give it a go. I had to force me through the first book. Three months, I think. I can say that I officially hate Bella Swan. I need a book to be well written with good supporting characters if I’m not fond of the main character. I don’t think a glittering vegetarian vampire is good enough. I’m not overly fond of the character Harry Potter either, but I love both Ron and Hermione, and in fact the whole cast.

A tweet caught my eye some time ago:

“Ella Rose Edmondson@ellaedmondson
50 Shades of Grey is the most boring book I’ve tried to read in a very long time. I’m skipping entire pages

I knew I’d heard about this book somewhere, but couldn’t quite figure out where. And then I found this review:
Finally, I get the sex in Fifty Shades of Gray

I admit, I sniggered when I read it. And then I suddenly remembered.
This is the fanfic set in the Twilight universe and grew up to be a series of its own. Sort of.

Fanfic can be a pleasant easy-read, or it can be grinding agony.
A while ago I had a little rant about the plain awfulness of some fics.
I’ve read quite a lot of fanfic lately, just because I can’t muster the strength to start reading Lord of the Flies. Not just yet.

And I sincerely apologize if this was a total waste of your time.


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