Saturday, November 10, 2007

I'm an intellectual, I am.

I'm so excited! I'm reading 'War and Peace'. I was joking with one of my Russian students about it yesterday. He brought up the title, I said I liked the idea of reading it but it's too long, he said that it's easier to read in Russian (yeah, thanks a bunch for that helpful advice, Alex!) and then a serendipitous thing happened. (Should I get all philosophical and muse that maybe there are no coincidences..... ah; no. It was a coincidence.)

I was blog hopping in the quiet time after the hurley burley of interviews (my head had a stuffed with cotton wool feeling) before I went home to the hurley burley of chiropractor appointments and Mum's place for my niece's birthday and I came across a blog about a chicken doing something. I've saved it to my work computer, so I'll have to jump back on Tuesday and put the name in. I know that the chicken wasn't angry. Maybe it was dancing. Anyway, she was talking about this site that emails portions of books out to you, so that you can read them in bite-sized portions while checking your emails. Woo Hoo! I thought, and I clicked on to see.

It's a fantastic idea. There's a big selection of free books, so my frugality kick is purring like a kitten, but even the books that you have to pay for are just a few dollars. They even come with a few free installments, apparently, so you can try before you buy. As far as I'm aware they're not abridged. There was nothing on the site to say that they were (and anyway, a book like 'War and Peace' could probably do with having a few sentences shaved off here and there.)

And there was 'War and Peace'. (Insert the Twilight Zone music here....)

So now when someone asks me what I'm reading, I can say "Tolstoy, my dear" without a word of a lie. If I stick with just one installment a day, it'll only take me 680ish days to finish. Though if the book starts to grab me, and I have a bit of free time, I can ask for the next installment to be sent immediately, so with a bit of luck it might only take me a year to read instead of two. (This is anathema to the girl who normally finishes a book in a day. I finished the last 'Harry Potter' by dinner time the day it was released. But somehow I don't think 'War and Peace' will have the same 'gotta find out what's going to happen next' as young Harry's story had.)

If anyone out there decides to join me and read a snippet of a book a day, please leave a comment here. I'd love to hear the different selections. :)


Scott said...

What an excellent idea - great for all those books that you probably never would sit down and actually read. I've subscribed to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - I intend to read all the classic children's literature I never knew about when I was a of the hazards of working-class roots.

blueblue said...

War and Peace...welll honestly the first and last chapter seems to be a little bit of over moralising. I read them, but you can skip them safely and get into the 'real story', and the enjoyable bit to read. And if you get the time, the classic 1950s? movie is fabulous.
I also recommend Anna Karenina.

Frogdancer said...

I saw 'Anna Karenina' at the ballet when I was about 14. I wonder if 'War and Peace' has been balletised?

At the moment some woman is raving on about the emperor and what a good bloke he is. I'm guessing that was a bit of sucking up by Tolstoy to make sure the book would get published? I'm glad it picks up a bit more as it goes along.

Scott, it looks like you and I are on our own..... (sniff).