July 3, 2008

The One That Got Away

I read a lot as a kid. A LOT. I didn't really have a lot of friends for lots of reasons- my family lived on a lake, my neighborhood had few children my age, and we experienced debilitating winters. (My lack of friends had nothing to do with my social awkwardness- that came later in middle school.) I read so much that my parents bought me any and every book I ever wanted. I read a lot of Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, American Girls, and Babysitter Clubs. I inhaled those books.

A book that really stuck with me is Socks by Beverly Cleary. Socks was about a cat who felt neglected after her human family had a baby. The only reason I know that is because I looked it up recently. You see, I never finished Socks. And it haunts me to this very day.

Due to the ghost of Socks I haven't been able to bring myself to start a new book until I finish the previous one. My personal albatross has left me with very little literary headway. I'm currently 300 pages into Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell- a 700 some page book. I put it down 180 pages in not enjoying it very much. I was making myself finish that son of a bitch. Mike thinks I should've given it up and moved on to the countless other books I keep in waiting. But NO! Jonathan Strange will not be the second coming of Socks! So. I have allowed myself to slowly move through Jonathan Strange while reading other books in the meantime.

I am breaking my own rule to follow another and it is not as liberating as one would think. Rules are not meant to be broken! I should let it slide since I'm starting to enjoy Jonathan Strange and I'm reading some great books in the meantime. This is turning into a win-win situation.

But I have to confess, I still haven't finished Socks. I don't know why I haven't. It's still in print. I go to bookstores all the time- I can just go buy it for myself. I can even go to the library! How novel. (Pun not intended.) Maybe I'm scared. Maybe I put it down for a reason. Maybe it didn't speak to me- I'm not a cat... but I was replaced by my brother.... Anyway, what if I've built up one of the greatest authors of young literature and I don't want her pedestal to crumble down around me?

Whichever reason it is, I wonder if my obsession with Socks is manifesting itself in other ways. I am obsessed with socks. I ask for them every gift giving occasion. I LOVE socks. I am also obsessed with my cat. I LOVE my cat. Now that I think about it, my favorite pair of socks has cats on them... Huh...

4 comments:

dad said...

I'm trying to remember if I bought you that book, "Jonathon...." If I did, it was a classic case of deception by cool book jacket art and misleading overview on the inside of the cover. Perhaps the deep discount at Borders should have told me something...

belleshpgrl said...

You didn't. There was one book I bought thinking it was another murder mystery and it turned out to have scenes of soft-core porn. That was the only time I ever threw out a book- I was afraid you or Mom would find it and ground me. Why you would look in my books I have no idea.

jana said...

Did you ever finish _Jonathan Strange_? It gets better about 1/3 of the way in--at least it did for me. :)

belleshpgrl said...

I'm still reading it! I'm half-way through but to be fair to it, I'm still reading other books in the meantime.