Thursday, May 7, 2009

Finding the Time to Dive into Big Books

I picked up the latest Elizabeth George book, Careless in Red, the other day thrilled to see the next installment in the Inspector Lynley series. I've been reading this series since her first book, A Great Deliverance. This is almost as long as I've been married! So this obvioulsy shows how committed I am to following the characters and the author. And, for the most part, I've been very satisfied with what Ms. George has delivered. I love how she imbeds even her most minor characters with voices and attributes that make them stand out. The complexity of her characters and the intertwining plots necessarily make for big, thick dive-into-for-days book reads. The last one I read was when we were vacationing on the beach in the Dominican and her surprise twist at the end made me actually drop my mouth open in disbelief and cry - in public! So you know that I love me my Elizabeth George.


I've discovered that her books are not for the kind of reading I'm doing now. The twenty-minutes before I collapse into bed exhausted from the day kind of reading. The snatches of time I have to read don't work for the big, multi-character, complicated stories that she writes. I've found that when I go back to it, I have to try and remember, who is this character again? What did he say in the last chapter? Was this person related to that person or just a friend? Arghh!! It's so frustrating!

I've found that for my own writing - maybe because I'm always thinking of my characters - snatches of time work for me. I can pick up on writing the scene I've left midway and continue without too much trouble because I'm always thinking of what my characters have done or are about to do. But that's also because I don't have a gazillion characters in my novels to keep track of.

It's sad, really. I used to dive into big books with the anticipation of spending a few solid hours at a time getting lost in that world. Now, between work, kids, my own writing and the necessities of eating and sleeping I don't seem to be able to do that anymore. And diving in, curled up on a comfy couch, eating your favourite snack and reading a big book is one of the best things in life. Sigh.

Maybe I'll just have to save big books for vacations. With really long plane rides...

1 comment:

  1. I can get frusrated by not being able to read certain books at certian times too. For me, I have to read in genre and age group when writing, but man there are so many other books in my TRP! Gah! I tell you, it spurs me on to draft quickly so I can read some of those other books, lol.