I realized over the past couple months that my post The Sadness that is the End of the Minithon was getting views on a regular basis. Far more than whatever my most recent post was. 34 in July and August. That’s one every other day for a post that should not have interested anyone but the 6 or 7 people who participated in the Minithon in May. I chat about The Wimbledon Poisoner – a book I never finished – and peanut butter pretzel nuggets. Hard to believe anyone’s searching on those things. I therefore come to the conclusion that people are drawn to the picture of the sad bunny which I stole off the internet. I further conclude that the road to fame and fortune, or at least more visits, is pictures of cute animals. The posts may go unread, but the traffic will be excellent.
I wonder when I see stories of people who apparently make a living being a Youtube sensation or a blogger, how much traffic is that? When someone’s year long project is parlayed into a book and maybe even a movie a la Julie and Julia, what level of interest did it have to reach to jump the divide to real-world book or movie? And then if you look for Julie now you can find she did another blog for a bit and wrote a book about carving meat, but that didn’t have the same success. What do you do when your personal internet bubble bursts?
I’ve started reading Tolstoy and the Purple Chair despite the fact that I know it’s more grief memoir than a book about reading. Definitely a few dozen of us who would’ve preferred a book about the reading, but then we’re demented. I am somewhat obsessed with the idea of reading a book a day, even though I know I couldn’t do it. Or maybe because I know I couldn’t do it. I started it yesterday and have gotten through about 70 pages. But even if I didn’t have a job, I don’t think I could do it. I couldn’t manage 100 pages a day last December when I was trying to finish off 10 or 11 books for various challenges. Even if I stuck to short books, (and really, they couldn’t be too short or it wouldn’t count) I’m still too slow a reader. She did read some darned short books, but she also read The Elegance of the Hedgehog and Watership Down, each in a day. So even if for some reason I no longer had to work, I’m pretty sure I would get tired of it and want to do anything other than read after a while. Whether that while would be 3 days or 3 months I’m not sure. And I am so easily bored that finding 365 books that I could read straight through would be a miracle.
I was hoping that reading the book itself would cure me of thinking about it. But so far, it has not. Maybe because I want to be reading not about her family during WWII or her sister, which was the whole reason she did this in the first place, but more about what it’s like to read a book each day. And how it is at the end of a month. Do you remember them? Is it just a sea of muddled prose in your mind? Do one or two stand out and the rest is grey? There’s also a frustrating vagueness much of the time as to what prevents her reading, what caused her to wind up with 200 pages to go at 10 pm? I would be sunk right there. But also I couldn’t deal with a midnight deadline. I’d have to go noon to noon or something like that. Reading at night in bed is one of my favorite things. And she and I are just not much alike, so instead of identifying with or even empathizing, I just wish she’d tell me more about other stuff. And why am I even thinking about this? Unless an eccentric millionaire pays me to take a leave of absence to read books for a year (I’d like to do it at the beach, dear eccentric millionaire), it’s not a possibility. Usually I’m fairly good at accepting that things are impossible and dealing in the realm of the possible, but this, keeps bugging me,