Tuesday, September 7, 2010

On Villette....

This is sort of a random post, but I just need to ask you all some questions. Bear with me.

I am in the middle of reading Charlotte Bronte's Villette. It is the first thing I have ever read by this Bronte and I am enjoying it.

Well, more than enjoying. I am soaking up every word and loving it with all of my being. Perhaps it is because I see a lot of myself in Ms. Lucy Snowe (more on that in the future).

But, even while I am falling in love with it, it is taking me a great deal of time to read it. Perhaps it is my fear of it ending, or maybe it is because I am insane and just need to finish it already.

Anyway, what I would like to asked is if any of you have had this problem? I mean, loving a book as you read it, but not being able to just suck it up and finish it? Any words of advice??

And if you missed it, I made a post about the next installment of Sherlock Holmes short stories I read, so you need to read it too.

Happy Tuesday. :D


  1. Haha! I am in the middle of this with Anna Karenina. I am loving it, but it is taking me forEVER to finish it. It's like the Neverending Story. Sorry, no advice for you, but if you end up with some good advice maybe I can use it too!!

  2. What's the advantage of sucking it up? Let the book breathe.

    Of course, Villette is so clautrophobic that "breathe" is probably a bad metaphor.

    I love this book. Brilliant, just brilliant. If I can bring myself to do the work, I have a whole series of crackpot ideas about Villette.

  3. Enjoy dragging it out! If that's how it's comfortable to read, maybe that's the best thing for the book and rushing it might make it worse. I was not a fan of Villette myself, and maybe that's because I was trying to read it too fast. I quit halfway through. I forget sometimes that I need to slow down to enjoy some books.

  4. That book is on my shelf waiting for my Brussels Bronte Group to read it in our book club later this year. I'm really curious about it and want to go a city tour of the places mentioned once it's finished.

    That problem is a common one, especially with classics with a not-so-simple language. My 2-euro cents worth of advice is to enjoy the words and give it the time it deserves.

  5. Oh, you are pointing to my biggest fear!

    I think keeping a book blog gives us this wonderful place to write about our reading--but it has always seemed to me it could quite easily start feeling like I had to hurry up and finish something before I've really luxuriated in a book.

    I have not kept a book blog until now but am currently sketching out a big classics reading project. I'm certain that writing about the books and engaging in a dialogue with other book bloggers will add enormously to me reading pleasure and to my understanding. But I'm terrified that the schedule will start seeming like pressure to finish something so I'll have something to say on the blog...

    This may not be your issue at all. Here I am foisting my own panics off on to other people...

  6. It definitely stretches out for me when I'm afraid it will end to soon. :-)

    (No Jane Eyre yet? That one's excellent...)

  7. I think the parts of Villete that center on the school are really wonderfully done-over all I would have to take the majority line and say Jane Eyre is the greater work but Villete is really good also and kind of a unique first Bronte

  8. That actually happened to me with Villete as well! I liked it, but it took me months to read it. Longer than Anna Karenina. For some reason it was hard to pick back up and get into, even though I enjoyed it each time I did. And I couldn't read much in one sitting. After several months of reading and only reaching the halfway point, I just finally said "that's enough, no more books until this one is done" and made myself get through it faster. I sometimes have to do that if I'm reading a slower book and a fast-paced book at the same time. Sometimes I fly through the fast-paced book and keep starting new similar ones and not finishing the slower one.

  9. I read In Search of Lost Time over two years, with lots of other books in between. It's such a long book and so complex that rushing it would have ruined a lot of the pleasure of just picking it up at night in bed whenever I wanted to. Proust felt like a very close and special friend by the end of it, somewhat like you feel about Holmes and Watson I imagine. :)

    I recently read Villette too and actually stopped to read two other short lighter books in the middle of it, which I don't usually do, but it's so rich and intense, I didn't want to rush it.

  10. I always feel that way with Russian literature--I love it, but it takes so much time to read it. My advice is to never start over at the beginning, no matter how long it's been since you put it down (I read the first few chapters of The Brothers Karamazov countless times).

    Plus when I have a book I really want to read but have a hard time getting through, I put it somewhere in the house where I know I will sit down and read, and don't allow myself to bring another book into that corner. (For me that place is my daughter's room where I read while she plays.)

  11. I had this same problem with Aurora Leigh--loved it, but kept stalling on it. I ended up setting a goal to read one chapter (book) of the poem a day, and that worked perfectly.

  12. I felt that way recently about The Children's Book by AS Byatt. I liked it but it was sloooow going. Just keep at it!

    Psst... read Jane Eyre.

  13. It's been on my to-read shelf for awhile, I think I've been a little hesitant because I loved Jane Eyre so much -- I'm a little afraid that I won't like it as much because I so disliked Wuthering Heights (I know, different Bronte, but they're really lumped together in my mind). Your review has given me hope and moved it up on the to-read list. Thanks for the review!