‘ahems and ahahs’

Literature, & Etc.

“Imagined Reading”

with 2 comments

I’ve mentioned on this blog at various times how I frequently wander over to the Washington Post Book Section and how I am a member of Michael Dirda’s “Reading Room”, a forum for all things literary. Each week Michael poses one or two threads about various aspects of reading:

  • What books get you through tough times?
  • What works shaped you as a reader?
  • Snacking while enjoying a good book.
  • Do movie ruin a good book?

And etc. For those as passionate about reading and literature as I am, it is a great resource for those: What would you put on your top 5 or 10 lists.

Recently Michael Dirda posted a thread asking “What are your ‘Get Well’ Books?” The following is from his post and I felt it was worth blogging and asking with my fellow readers: download

Hi, Reading Roomers. (Every time I write “Reading Roomers” I imagine semiologists trying to decipher the subtext of the latest gossip.)  I’m still in Ohio with my Mom and— in the way of these things—have just learned that my middle son has broken his leg playing basketball. It’s not the worst break in the world, but it’s changed the complexion of Mike’s summer. Right now he’s been reading through The Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes instead of getting ready to hike the Appalachian Trail. When you are sick or your life strands you in a place where you can’t really do much, what books do you imagine reading? Under what conditions would you like to recover as you read them?

So, let me piggy back off of his discussion, what are your ‘imaginary reads’?

I think that if I knew I was going to have a fairly long recovery time in a bed or a hospital (*knocks on wood&), that I would attempt some of the larger literary giants that have up until this point scared me off, largely due to their length: The Brothers Karmazov by Dostoevesky, Les Miserable by Hugo, Gravity’s Rainbow by Pynchon, The Regulations by Gaddis. These are all 500-700+ reads and while I’ve read books of that length before, these authors tend to be fairly well known for being dense. How about you Erin, in what imaginary future do you foresee yourself starting and finishing Oblomov or The Kindly Ones? Some day eh….someday 😉

2 Responses

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  1. You forgot to mention Anna K. And I currently imagine reading those works whilst looking for jobs following my PhD program. Though I must observe I’ve also read at least three other major Russian novels while in classes, plus Don Quixote. Shame on you for neglecting my better reading habits.

    Books I read whilst ill include Moby Dick, Sherlock, Silas Marner, The Waves, Crime and Punishment, and The Divine Comedy (which was appropriate for the state of delirium I was in at the time). There are probably others, given my childhood, but I don’t remember them.

    Drat. Now I want chicken soup to go with my reading material today.


    July 9, 2009 at 11:26 am

  2. Also, next time I’m ill I’m finishing Murakami (good intelligent and witty adventure stories), John Marston and Ben (because witless people being taken advantage of always cheers me up), Spenser (because it’s long enough to last several days of reading), and Gogol’s Dead Souls (the Russians can sympathise with the suffering). And if I have time left over, Coming Through Slaughter.


    July 9, 2009 at 11:35 am

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