A fellow writer suggested that I read James Herriot's book All Creatures Great and Small as an exercise. See, I love to read and I read a lot. I'm not only a fast reader, but when I'm enjoying a book, I sacrifice sleep, television and my housekeeping responsibilities to finish it as quickly as possible. Imagine my horror when I was told I needed to read one to two pages per day!

Really? That would be easy if the book stunk, but unfortunately (and fortunately) this book is really good and the writing is clever and beautiful. This has been a challenge.

The suggestion was that I read it S L O W L Y and write down phrases or passages that struck me, to really appreciate the writing, the language, the way the words were put together, not just the story.

This has been very eye-opening for me. I'm loving the book. I'm loving the way its written. I'm loving the humor. I'm loving the way the words are put together. How much have I missed in other books I've read? I recently started reading East of Eden again. The last time I read it I fell completely in love with the story. This time I'm falling in love with the prose. It's beautiful.

Unfortunately I'm an impatient person by nature. I'm sure there will be times I'll blaze through other books, but I'm really thankful for the challenge to slow down and really read the words that were written.

By the way, I'd recommend East of Eden and All Creatures Great and Small. I'll do a review on them sometime next year--when I've finished them.


Melanie said...

I do the same thing. I zoom through books I'm enjoying, often staying up past two or three in the morning to finish. Slowing down and paying more attention to the prose and the small details is a marvelous idea! There's no way I could only read only a page a day though... some of my favorite books would take around two and a half years to read. :)

Melanie said...

Clearly I should slow down and read my comments more carefully as well. Ignore that first "only". XD

Edonna said...

Read ALL of his books. I love his stories. I discovered this book in jr high.