Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How to Read Leaves

Last year, while I was reading The Aurora County All-Stars by Deborah Wiles to my daughter, I realized that I had missed something in my education.  In All-Stars, the characters are all brought together through the book, Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, and various verses are quoted.  It seemed ridiculous that I had never read Leaves of Grass, so I put it on my TBR list.

Before I started reading Leaves, I wondered if I was going about it all wrong.  If instead of reading the book cover to cover, I should keep it around and read a verse or two every day, to allow them to properly sink in.  However, when I started reading Leaves, I realized that both the way that I was actually reading it (i.e. 20 minutes to a half an hour each night) and the way that I thought I should have read it were both wrong.  I think that the way one should really read Leaves is to devote an afternoon to it, and read it all the way through in one sitting, with pen in hand for underlining.

Was it life changing?  No.  But if I see it at a used book sale, I will pick it up so that I have a copy to keep.  However, it was on my TBR list for over a year, and I was at plenty of used book sales during that time.  I think that like The Bible and The Prophet, people who own Leaves of Grass keep it.

Next up:  Great House by Nicole Krauss

Still Listening to:  The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai

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