Its Finished - My 10-month Reading of All Creatures Great and Small

The assignment was to read the book All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot. I love reading and I'm a fast reader, so the assignment should have been easy. But part of the assignment was to read two pages a day--S-L-O-W-L-Y, paying attention to Herriot's use of language and words and writing style.

Sounds easy?

It wasn't.

Part of the reason it was so difficult is because the very language and style I was supposed to study and absorb made the book hard for me to put down. He's a brilliant writer and a master storyteller. Putting the book down in the middle of a story was hard. But the exercise taught me something. I've really been missing out.

When I'm involved in the STORY, I speed through the WRITING, hurrying to find out what happens. But I think I've often missed out on the carefully chosen words and beautiful imagery and clever language. It made me wonder how much I've missed in other books I've read.

I'm sure a lot of what I read is fine to speed through. Many books are all about the story or the information. But so much literature is beautiful. Words put together just right are a revelation. They clarify, make you feel, and sometimes take your breath away.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely. And you don't have to limit yourself to two pages a day. But I would encourage you to savor it, notice his choice of words. Let him carry you to the farms of England.

I loved this book and have already ordered another book by James Herriot.


John said...

I'll put it on the list. The list of books I want to read when I start reading again!

Susan said...

Love, love, love his books.

Maggie said...

Wow that would be so hard! I think of reading that slowly as reading more like an editor than just a reader, so I think I might struggle. Way to go for sticking with it!