The Longest Book

Read to the end for a post about inspirational cardboard

I love my Kindle. It's one of the best single-purpose devices I own. As much as I subscribe to the fact that Amazon makes cheap, commodity hardware, the Kindle reigns supreme. I can carry ALL THE BOOKS with me anywhere I go. It has a backlight, a 'warm' light, hooks into my library systems (I don't mean to brag but I have four library cards), and has insane battery life.

I bought the original Kindle in 2007 when it was a brand new idea. Back then it was an 8-month wait for it and it looked so weird. But right away I was sold. It was a clunky device but I could quickly see how perfect it was for reading. Since then I've upgraded to the Kindle Keyboard, then the 5th-generation Paperwhite, and last year I upgraded again to the current-generation Paperwhite. This latest jump is great with its water resistance and USB-C charging.

Yes, I love my Kindle.

But... there is one thing I didn't anticipate when I started reading my current book: not realizing how long a book is.

Every time I start a new book, I simply borrow it from the library / purchase it, open it, and begin reading. This time around has been different. In 2016 a colleague constantly praised the book The Count of Monte Cristo. Back then I added it to my TBR (to be read) list and moved on. This year I decided I should give it a try. It's a classic and I never read it. So imagine my surprise when I saw the percentage-read indicator not moving as I flipped page after page.

It was then that I did some digging and saw the reason why: the book is over a thousand pages long. A THOUSAND PAGES. Yeah, that is a lot. I started Monte Cristo at the end of March. Here it is, the middle of June and I'm a whopping 26% through it. The book is entertaining and fun to read. It has fairly modern language and is interesting. However, the chapters go on and on. Brevity was certainly not Dumas' forte.

Just the other day I was reading a chapter that clocked in at about 30 minutes (the Kindle will figure out your reading speed and estimate how long you'll get through a chapter). Wanting to continue my reading session, I flipped to the next page and checked the time calculation: one hour.

I closed my Kindle and decided to move on with my day. An hour to read a single chapter was more than I was up for. And frankly, it is the sheer length of this book that makes it a daunting read. This is coming from someone who read the entire A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) series. This book is frigging long. I both enjoy it and regret starting it.

I always say my free time is valuable so we should only do things we enjoy. To get joy from this book requires larger gaps than normal between sessions and giving myself permission to spread out the book for however long I want. Reading is, after all, no different than a movie or video game where we should have fun. If we're not, then what's the point?

I'm thankful the story is good because it's what keeps me going. But it has certainly tanked my 10-book reading goal for the year. If I keep reading at my current pace, this will be the third and final book I complete this year. And that's okay.

Thank you for reading. I sincerely appreciate it.


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Australia once lost a war to emus (the birds). Source

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