"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Finally...I've started my Classics Spin book, The Yearling

book cover
This is the edition I finally found of the Yearling published by Reader's Digest in 1993

On December 5th I joined in the Classics Club Spin event. The spinner landed on Book #19 where The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings sat on my list. So I was finally going to read this classic book, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1938. It seems like just about everyone had cut their teeth on this book except me and it is on all kinds of read-before-you-die lists. I couldn't wait to get started.

Print too small!
I knew I had the book in my library and so I didn't worry about searching around for it at the public library or elsewhere. I had a cute copy of the book with a 50th Anniversary Edition sticker on it. I checked it out to myself but didn't open it for days. When I did, I understood why the book hadn't circulated much in my ten years as a librarian. The print was tiny...too tiny for my old eyes. I clearly had to find another edition to read.  And to make matters worse, it was bound too tightly and it was nearly impossible to read the words nearest the middle binding. That should be easy, right? Wrong.

Even though this book was first published in 1938 and won a Pulitzer it is not available for download in the E-version from the library. In fact Overdrive doesn't offer it in any format. Next I searched other sources for an e-book. iBooks let me read a 40-page sample on my tablet. That was the largest sample I found anywhere. I couldn't believe it. Apparently the world will have to wait for another eight years before the book makes it into public domain and we can read free copies on ebooks, which will be seventy years after Rawlings death. By then I am sure everyone will be simply clamoring for it. Sigh.

Just when I was about to give up and pay for the Kindle version a thought came to me that my funky little used bookstore in town may have a larger copy of The Yearling that I could see to read. I had to navigate through holiday shopping traffic to get there but sure enough there was a nice big version published by Reader's Digest. Yes! I was in business. This edition even had colorized illustrations from the original book.

After this odyssey to get a copy of the book I was finally able to sit for an hour this afternoon and read. And what a treat. I can already tell why this book has received such literary honors and awards. The language Rawlings used must have come straight out of the back-country in Florida. Dialogue is written in vernacular and it just rolls off the tongue (or the tongue in my mind, anyway.)

My reading plan: in order to complete the book by the contest deadline I will need to have it finished by Feb. 2nd. In order to meet that deadline I will need to read 50 pages a week beyond what I've already read. Should be easy. I also hope to post periodical updates on my blog, but don't promise to make weekly posts.

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