14 September 2008

Sunday Salon: How to Read a Novel

The Sunday Salon.com This is my first time participating in the Sunday Salon. For those of you who aren't regular readers of book blogs (I just started myself), the idea behind SS is that people all over the blogosphere devote time to reading on Sunday and blogging about the experience. Some people are reading the same novel, book club style, while others are just chipping away at their TBR (to be read) list. I fall into the latter category.

The book I'm working on today is How to Read a Novel: A User's Guide. I am currently on chapter 12. This book ended up on my TBR list after reading an article about how people feel guilty that they haven't read certain books like classics or recent bestsellers.  One of the ideas that the author, John Sutherland, puts forth has been particularly freeing for me. Sutherland points out that there was a time in history where a person could read all the important books without taking a lifetime to do so. Now there are so many books being published every month that a reader can't keep up. On top of that, the definitions of "important" and "classic" change depending on what group you are talking to or who is trying to sell you something.  

I know this idea seems like common sense, but having it spelled out made something click in my brain. It is just a reminder that there is no reason for me to slog through books just because they are good for me. This doesn't mean that I will never expose myself to the classics, but I will be much less likely to beat myself up if I choose to listen to them on audio or watch a film adaptation rather than read them all.

I was going to ask you guys to help me pick the first book I should tackle from my list for the New Classics Challenge.  After checking the stack on my bedside table, I realized that I only have two of the books on hand. Out of those two, I think that The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction is the best choice considering that we are weeks away from Election Day. 


Anonymous said...

Welcome to the Sunday Salon! Glad to see a new member. :)

MizB said...

Great blog! :D Welcome to the world of Book Bloggers! :D

MizB of
Should Be Reading

Farrah said...

Welcome to the Sunday Salon! This is my 4th week of it and enjoy reading what others are currently reading, dreading to read, and have read. It's a great source to help you determine what's next on the TBR pile. :-)

Enjoyed your post and feel that SOMETIMES we just have to get the "dummy" manual to better understand why things are the way they are. Sutherland made an excellent point and you were right that certain books fall into certain categories depending on the reading group you are speaking with. Great 1st Sunday Salon post!

Farrah from...
The Book Faery Reviews: www.tbfreviews.wordpress.com
Wife and Mom of 3: www.wifeandmomof3.net

Colleen said...

I like your idea of reading Jon Stewart's "America" book. You are right; it's good timing!
Thanks for posting about that challenge. Sounds like a fun one!