Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Tyranny of the Page Number

Have you ever experienced the tyranny of the page number? I have—often! I most often am caught in its trap while reading a non-fiction title, but it sometimes manifests itself even in the pages of a storybook.

The trouble usually starts when a vague uncomfortable feeling creeps upon me while reading a particularly interesting passage. It would be nice to stop and think about it, and yet, my eyes begin to skim faster and faster over the page. I begin to feel boxed in—helpless in the grip of words. My breaths become shallow; if I don’t stop and come up for air soon, I know I’ll be sick. And yet, the page number drives me on. There are only a few short chapters left. Those troubling passages can be thought out later. Those mysterious word definitions can wait. If only I reach the end soon, I’ll be able to cross another thing off my list. Is this what drowning feels like?

If only I could find a way to keep my eyes down to a reasonable rate of speed. Maybe then I’d be able to truly learn.

If only I could learn to equate time well spent with lessons learned, to be able to spend time savoring the pleasure of a well-turned phrase. Why is it that the page number still drives me on?

This is the problem that plagues me. This is the malady of a bibliophile.

4 comments:

Sherrin said...

I identify with this problem :). I usually reist reading the end before the beginning these days, but I often catch Mum skipping ahead and saying "I'm going to read it properly later".

rosimonda said...

sounds like you have a serious addiction... :-P

kara a. said...

Oh no...I can quit when I want to...;)

Esther said...

Hey Kara,
I was browsing and found your blog. Great! A fellow booklover...I plan to check back and read more. :)
I've been doing some reading lately too, and if you'd like to check out my thoughts about Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier, come visit me.
Other books I'll be posting on soon:
Anthem by Ayn Rand.
Passage by Connie Willis.

I love discovering new authors and Connie Willis is pretty good...
Oh, I'm also coming from a Christian viewpoint.

Take care...
esther :)