Thursday, February 23, 2012

I Can't Believe It Took Me This Long...

by Elizabeth

I can be sort of stubborn sometimes. When I've liked something and then it becomes popular, I hate seeming to be part of the trend when my embracing it was once something unique. So I'm not always the first to pick up a copy of whatever is the hottest new book. There are a lot of great reads I know I'm missing (but there is also only so much time, so many other terrific reads I'm enjoying instead) out of sheer obstinacy. Or just not-getting-around-to-it-ness.

I recently, and finally, read The Art of Racing in the Rain, Garth Stein's much-lauded novel that came out over three years ago. I know I'd heard critics, blogs, reviews, and friends rave about this book, and it was always sort of floating in the back of my head as a book I should read, I would read, believed would be a good read. Yet did not read.

Total head-slapper. What a terrific book! I can't believe it took me all these years, and yet, at the same time, how lucky that I got to enjoy this literary pleasure just now. So worth the wait, although if I'd known in 2009 how worth it, I don't think I'd have waited. Some other books I put off include Gone with the Wind, The Harry Potter Series (read the first book just before the movie came out, and spent the next 13 days devouring 2, 3, and 4--with a two year old and a baby, no less!), The Poisonwood Bible. Great books all, and I missed the first flush. (Okay, my mother was an infant when Margaret Mitchell published, but it took me until I was 30 to read about Scarlett and Rhett.)

I wondered if any of my cohorts had the same experience with a book they'd meant to read, didn't read, and later adored. Here's what three of them had to say:

Kim: The big one for me was To Kill a Mockingbird. I had heard it was good, but am not generally a fan of American classics, and so I put it off. For years. I don’t remember what finally made me pick it up, but once I did my nose never left it until I finished. I still haven’t read the Harry Potter books.

Julie: It's happened more than I care to admit, because that labels me a rebel … hmm …! But most recently, I finally read The Hunger Games after hearing so many people rave about it. My inclination was to ignore it; I don't read a whole ton of young adult fiction, and I only recently realized I kind of like dystopian fiction, depending on the story. I downloaded a sample of The Hunger Games on my Nook out of curiosity, then couldn't hit purchase fast enough. Since then, I talked my whole family into reading it, mostly with success, and we can't wait to see the movie. In the meantime, I'm putting off reading books two and three of the trilogy. How weird is that?

Pamela: It must be a common character trait among us because I, too, have books that I've resisted--for no apparent reason I can place my finger on. For five years I was in a book club and, on a few occasions, I didn't read the selection of the month. Most notably I remember: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Water for Elephants and The Time Traveler's Wife. All three remain on the bookcase behind me and I'll likely get to them, eventually, but the urgency has passed. I thought I SHOULD read Little Women but I started it and found it annoying. East of Eden is probably the most notable title I read a few years ago that I wished I'd read sooner. My friend Jennifer bought it for me and we read it at the same time. Loved it. I also remember my sister reading Go Ask Alice and my wanting to read it in middle school and being told I couldn't, due to the content. Surprisingly, I finally deemed myself mature enough to read it, I guess, thirty-odd years later and wished I hadn't waited so long. Julie, like you, I'm planning on reading The Hunger Games next. And I still haven't read any of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books. Must. Do. That.   


  1. Long time lurker coming out of Lurkdom to say I just started reading The Art of Racing in the Rain - after years of having it on my Wish List!

    Oh, and I haven't read the Harry Potter series, either - people give me grief over that one (and the fact I abandoned the last big craze to hit around here: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series). Of course, they also yell at me for reading the last chapter first - I guess I am a Book Rebel ;)

    Love your blog, Ladies!

  2. It's great to see your face and read your comment, Janet. We're glad you're enjoying the blog and hope you love The Art of Racing in the Rain as much as we did!

  3. Seovye Quirsefron28 February, 2012


    I'm pretty sure I'm among those who encouraged you to read "The Art of Racing in the Rain". :)
    Another very good book written from a dog's point of view is "A Dog's Purpose." It's not as good as "The Art ...", but well worth the read.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...