Sand Between the Pages

The Wednesday before July 4 weekend I headed to the beach with my family. While walking up the path someone commented on the size of the book I was taking over. I had decided it was time that I read The Wheel of Time series and I had with my the 30 year anniversary hardcover edition of The Eye of the World.

It is an 800 page long book with smaller than average font. I have so far been reading it for around 11 days and this morning it took the trip with me to the beach a second time. I am taking longer to read it than I typically do for a few reasons. One is business has picked up. The other is I need to spend time with my children and I enjoy spending time with them. The final reason is I need entertainment other than reading. I had been concentrating on reading far too much and haven’t had time for TV, movies, or video games. I need a balance of forms of entertainment in my life.

What have I found taking my time reading this novel? First, it isn’t Bleak House. That one took me a bit too but it felt like a slog. That was on purpose by Mr. Dickens as he wanted his readers to feel the weight of his novel. This is different. It feels like I am getting to spend more time with the characters. I remember being younger and finishing a long novel and being sad because I would no longer get to spend time with those characters. The journey was over and I was at a loss.

The final thing I have found reading this novel is I have no respect for 30 year anniversary hardcover editions of books. There is sand between the pages and the final 150 pages have water damage from being carted to and from the beach. The book looks like it has been read. I’m not saying special editions of novels aren’t meant to be read, but maybe they aren’t meant to be read on the beach while your toddlers are flinging sand at you.

This isn’t the first special edition I have abused either. I let someone borrow one of the Dark Tower books that I (my father) paid $40 for from a Walden Books when it came out when Walden Books were still around.

I had a feeling that person wouldn’t return the book if I let them borrow it and it has never been returned. It is kind of like taking a book to the beach. You know it isn’t going to come out of things unharmed and sand between the pages will be the least of concerns.

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