Saturday, August 4, 2012

Not All Books Are Created Equal

One of the parts of the okcupid set-up is answering lots of simple questions.

This is how they find "matches" for you, and you are encouraged to go through and answer as many of the questions as possible. 

Some are ridiculously stupid. Some appear to exist merely to sort out the homophobic creationists from the socialist atheists (it would just be horrible to accidentally consider cross breeding those two groups).

And some actually inspire me to write blog posts.

One was "how many books have you read in the past year", which I actually think is a surprising good personality question in so far as it gives you a genuine inkling as to how the other person spends their time and whether reading is something they genuinely enjoy doing.

(You know, assuming they're answering the questions with any amount of honesty.)

However, I was ever so slightly discombobulated by the range selection given.

The answer options were something to the effect of:
  • none 
  • 1-5
  • 6-12 
  • 13-50
  • more than 50. 
I did some counting, and marked down the 13-50 range as a fairly accurate depiction of how many books I have read this past year.

(You know, actually answering the question honestly and all...)

But see, not all books are created equal.

I recently read The Secret Life of Bees in three days. Jurassic Park was done in four. The Game of Thrones series took me a least a month per book.

Because they are BIGGER. Because the writing is at a higher level, the plot is ridiculously complex, and the characters are numerous (to say the least).

I just got The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest today, which I'm really excited about as it's one I've been wanting to read for ages, but it's another BIG book and will probably take me just as long as the George Martin ones did.

And I like that. I like being wrapped up in a story for weeks at a time, and not having that constant pressure to track down a new and equally good-as-the-last-one book to read for tomorrow. I like not worrying about whether I'll run out of book when I don't have a convenient opportunity to get another one because I'm not working that day or (heaven forbid) I finished it on my lunch break and then forgot to get a new one to take home that afternoon and don't have anything to read that night.

(Those are really sad nights, when I realize that I'm out of book as I go to read it.)

Although, I suppose if I start getting overly self-conscience about my recently booked numbers I could just go grab a whole bunch of those tiny romance novels we keep in the back section of the book department in Target, as I'm sure I could easily read through a couple of those a day just to boost my numbers.

Of course, there would be the part where I'd actually have to read them.... and like, not make gagging sounds or commentary about their stupidity the whole time.

On second thought, selecting literature for quality rather than quantity just might be the way to keep on going. After all, I'm really far to young to start yelling my opinions at inanimate objects being used for entertainment purposes. 

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