When I was a kid in school I used to carry around a foresr-green bookbag. More often than not, it would be loaded, not just with schoolbooks, but with a novel I was reading. And more often than not, that novel was a heavy tome — something that would bang against my knees in my bookbag and give me a thump if I wasn’t careful.
Ah, big books — let me count the ways I love thee! No wonder I was a zealous Dickens fan: he wrote his novels in installments and was always coming up with creative ways to beef them up so that he could meet his word counts!
Not long ago, I saw a special cardboard gift “trunk” (now there’s a clever idea!) filled with all seven Harry Potter books. The trunk weighed a ton! Each book in the series seemed to be chunkier than the next. What a treat for Potterheads — to get the newest volume and realize that they had a lo-ong, satisfying story to dive into!
Just recently, a friend and I were talking about the joys of having a big, fat, juicy book to read — something that you absolutely love and can’t put down. You know the kind of book I mean: one that’s so great that you’re relieved when you glance down and realize that you’re only half way through it and still have hundreds of pages of pleasure ahead of you.
That’s one of the most satisfying things about reading a real book vs. one on a Nook or Kindle. Sure, these ereaders tell you the percentage of a book you have left, but that just isn’t the same as fingering a wad of unread pages and feeling that a world of adventure is yours to command. What a fantastic feeling! Is there anything better than a lazy summer weekend afternoon with a pitcher of cold lemonade by your side and a chubby, chummy book in your hand — the kind you can’t wait to get lost in?
Just thinking about juicy reads inspired me to pull off my shelf the first volume of Marcel Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past. It’s a big boy, all right/ And after years of thinking about it, I’m ready to take the plunge.