I’ve been “Gone Reading” for a few months. Hey, I know I’m a nerd… but I like to read. A lot. Have you ever been so intent on a book or a book series that the real world disappears as you immerse yourself in the world created by words?
My whole family reads. In fact, the TV is rarely on in our home but we can all often be found together in the den with books. Our beach vacations consist of sun, sand, and words. I felt a little sorry for my daughter’s boyfriend who came with us last year and looked bored after a couple of days. But hey, you wanna date my daughter, pick up a book kid…
I was trying to think of the books that really sucked me in over the years. The first was probably The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. I devoured it and then its much-larger cousins: The Lord of the Rings. I think the escape to another time and another world was what I found alluring. I stayed in the science fiction/fantasy genre for a little while but I had great English teachers in high school who expanded my horizons. They shared classics like To Kill a Mockingbird, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Great Gatsby, and The Grapes of Wrath. One introduced me to Charles Dickens through Great Expectations and I was hooked. I’ve read most of his works and consider David Copperfield my favorite. I’m trying to forget it right now so I can pick it up and be lost in it again. There’s nothing like the first time you read a classic.
I went through a Leon Uris phase. I devoured one John Grisham, Congo, but the ending was so disappointing that I vowed never to read another of his books. War and Peace started me down a Russian literature path that I followed for a while. There is a reason it is often called the best novel of all time. After 1400 pages I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the characters. My wife talked me into Les Miserables and some Jane Austen. I admit, she is a master.
I’ve plowed through most of the top 100 novel lists – of course, some I liked and some I didn’t.
I’ve tried to keep up with modern writers also. Great books such as: The Book Thief, The Goldfinch, All the Light We Cannot See, The Nightingale, The Kite Runner, and A Man Called Ove.
Most recently, my daughter decided I need to read a series and she hid the book I was reading and replaced it with A Game of Thrones, by George RR Martin. Maybe it’s the RR, but I got completely lost in the story like in the Hobbit days. I became utterly useless to my family. For two months, I was gone reading again. I ignored projects and commitments. Our house fell in disrepair and I had very little social interaction except at work.
Five books, 5216 pages, and two months later, I’ve caught up with him and now I’m angry. Seriously – you can’t finish the story in over 5000 pages? He left us in the middle of several wars, plots and subplots, romances, uprisings, and no resolution! CURSE YOU, GEORGE RR MARTIN!!!! Please finish the next book without killing another Stark!
What are your favorite books and have there been some that have sent you, “Gone Reading”?