Want to read with me? Follow this link to view the list and pick a book (or a few!) to read along with me. I'd love for this project to be collaborative, and will post anyone's thoughts beside my own.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I am still working, but I require a brief respite.

Dearest blog enthusiasts,

I'm not sure whether any of you have been waiting with bated breath for my next entry, but I am writing (alas) to inform you that it will not be coming in the immediate future. I am taking a brief hiatus to focus on preparing for a prestigious fellowship for which I have been selected as a regional finalist. I don't know what to expect, or if I have even the slightest chance of advancing, but I want to give it my full effort. This means I am not, therefore, giving my full effort to the poor Count of Monte Cristo.

I will, however, share a brief story about my efforts to procure a copy of the novel.

I was thrilled when I realized I would be reading The Count of Monte Cristo. I read the book (or so I thought) in 8th grade, and remembered loving it. I happily dug around my room for the copy I'd purchased around Christmastime from Borders. When I sat down and opened the cover, however, I was shocked (dismayed! horrified!) to discover that I had unknowingly purchased an abridged edition.

I promptly announced this shocking discovery to my roommate, who is also an avid fan of the Count. She happily offered to search for her personal copy of the book. She trundled away to her room and dug in the abyss that is her living space, emerging triumphantly with a smaller, but thicker, copy of the book. We opened the cover together excitedly, only to find that this copy was ALSO abridged.

I remembered that another one of my roommates had recently landed a crate full of classics from a coworker who had stopped loving them. I ran downstairs and rifled through the pile, triumphantly discovering yet another copy. Alas, this third copy was also abridged. I now found myself in a quandary; had I really read the book at all? How much had each of these copies removed from the true tale?

Thoroughly angry with Borders for having sold me a copy of the book that was abridged without telling me, I marched back to the store (without a receipt. or (ahem) even a price tag) and demanded an unabridged version. The clerk reluctantly (and in an extremely bored tone) offered me store credit toward the purchase of the unabridged version. I happily accepted, and ran to the "literature" section to find an unabridged version. I yanked out a copy and started walking back toward the front desk. Halfway there, I checked the page count of the unabridged version - a whopping 1462 pages! As I purchased the new version, I joked with the clerk about them trying to cheat me out of a thousand pages. "Look how much more there is! I would seriously have missed out with that abridged version, eh?" (To which she offered a small forced chuckle, which was followed immediately by the return of her completely blank stare. You work in a book store and you don't enjoy creepy book patron jokes? Come on!)

So, needless to say, the unabridged version is taking me some time. I'm over the 900 page mark, and I'm certainly enjoying it, but it's going to take me some time to finish it.

I hope you enjoyed this little tale, and I'll do my best to get back to this blog as soon as I can.

Happy St. Patrick's day! Ta ta!