Friday, June 30, 2006


My normal reading habit is to settle into bed with my book at the end of the day. The normal result is that I read maybe two pages and then fall asleep. If I'm determined to read a long work, such as a 1,000-plus page novel, I have to devote other, more wakeful, times of the day to the effort.

Writers are commonly taught that one should never end a chapter with a character going to sleep. The thought is that if there is a break in the action that permits the character to sleep, then the reader will be prone to sleep as well. The goal of the writer should be to keep the reader reading, to write a book that is un-put-down-able.

Proust begins his masterpiece with his narrator going to sleep. In minute detail.

We managed six pages last night before quickly dosing off.


Blogger Stefanie said...

I had similar trouble when I read Swann's Way a few years ago. I could only read about 10 pages at a time because I'd get very sleepy. It's not that it was boring, I think it was the amount of focus I had to devote to following everything.

2:25 PM  

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