without a definite route

the poisonwood bible

“we came, we saw, we took away and we left behind, we must be allowed our anguish and regrets.”     ~ adah price

i’d like to say unequivocably that i liked the poisonwood bible, but i can’t. and i don’t exactly know why.

i enjoy authors who write with a healthy dose of Language and Poetry – or, to be more exact, language as poetry. i found the 5 different voices that barbara kingsolver created to tell her story to be a wonderful device, giving insight that a more traditional narrator couldn’t have. some of the points of view – especially adah’s – contained exciting verbal gymnastics that blew me away. and i absolutely love a good malapropism – especially when used both for humor and illumination.

but, even though i greatly enjoyed the words, i lacked a deeper attachment to the characters which created a distance from the narrative. i wanted to care so much more than i actually did. i wanted to feel – really feel – shock, fear, confusion, sadness and joy when the characters experienced it, but i just didn’t. that’s not to say that they weren’t fully realized, authentic, fascinating and believable. they were.  i just wasn’t touched by them and their stories in the way that i know i should have been.

i don’t remember ever working so hard to like something. or trying to figure out what is holding me from it. all of the elements that go into my favorite books – interesting and well-developed characters, creative storytelling, a sense of place and time, language as poetry – are there. and yet. my reading experience lacked an emotional resonance. i haven’t found myself, as i often do after reading a great book, thinking about the characters/story and Feeling Something. i can’t put my finger on why.

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to kindle or not to kindle

i like the tangibility of books. something about the smoothness of paper, the crackle of a turning page, the faint smell of tree and glue makes me feel safe and at home. feeling that way, i am faintly surprised at a growing desire for a kindle.

i borrowed one for my cruise last february and it was so perfectly wonderful. my dad, stepstep-mom and step-sister had pretty much packed an entire suitcase filled with heavy heavy books for the 3 of them and i had 15 books in my small purse, including the kind of resource books i would never in a million years take on vacation. convenience completely overruled any issue i might have had with needing the feel of a book in my hands. i became enthralled with the idea of not adding clutter to my bookshelves and decided that i would probably want to get my very own kindle when i got home.

after my trip, i wanted to share excerpts from the parents guide to autism and the special needs handbook with josh. hm. finding passages wasn’t quite as simple as i wanted it to be. i told friends about some of the books i’d read, war by sebastian junger, just kids by patti smith, the hunger games trilogy by suzanne collins. my excitement was contagious and they wanted to borrow them. oh. i hadn’t thought about that pretty major bummer. not being able to share a book that i had enjoyed was a letdown. i also grew to not like the idea of buying a book that only existed in digital space. so i returned the borrowed kindle without a shred of sadness and moved on with my life.

so what’s happened? i just learned that the library loans ebooks on kindle. that’s… interesting. also interesting is how much prices have come down on kindles. so i find myself wondering if it makes sense to acquire a device just for library books.

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