I've spent most of today winding down and wrapping up my Bout of Books week. I've not QUITE finished, but I'm trying to respond to all the comments on my posts from the last seven days, which is taking a while, and I also spent a couple of hours putting together my Bout of Books wrap-up post. If you're interested, it has some bookish chatter and links to all of my daily BoB posts, which basically replaced and expanded this reading journal for the week and included lots of lusting over literary (and screen) characters along the way, ha!
I've been reading bits and pieces from A Book Addict's Treasury throughout the day, but mostly I've just been skipping around online, it must be said: replying to comments, writing my post, blog hopping around other people's wrap-ups via Twitter, and checking my poor neglected email inbox. In the evening I did settle down for a while with a chapter of Jane Eyre, in which Jane dissects Blanche Ingram and concludes that she and Mr Rochester are a rubbish match in everything but station. I do like it when the nice smart girl trumps the pretty vapid one! It also included this moment, from a game of charades one evening, which I'd never noticed before but which gave me goosebumps this time around:
"Amidst this sordid scene, sat a man with his clenched hands resting on his knees, and his eyes bent on the ground. I knew Mr Rochester; though the begrimed face, the disordered dress (his coat hanging loose from one arm, as if it had been almost torn from his back in a scuffle), the desperate and scowling countenance, the rough, bristling hair might well have disguised him. As he moved, a chain clanked; to his wrists were attached fetters."As part of a charade that also includes a pretend wedding, is slang for a prison, and has connotations of mentally unstable women, this moment is pretty powerful. As the notes say, it shows "Rochester's actual condition," tormented, chained to a violently insane wife. GOOSEBUMPS, PEOPLE.
Aaaaand then I watched The Decoy Bride. I got it for Christmas from Dad and it was lovely and funny and sweet. Mad and completely improbable, yes, but mostly all those other things! I welled up a couple of times, and smiled, and enjoyed the scenery (and David Tennant), and hey! Whaddya know? The nice smart girl trumped the pretty vapid one. My favourite. I was originally planning to continue with my reading now, but it's nearly midnight and my head's a tad on the fuzzy side, so I think I might just carry on in the morning. Two more days off and then I'm back to work, noooooo!
I started out with A Book Addict's Treasury again this morning, and almost immediately stumbled upon this, taken from Tempest-Tost by Robertson Davies, which is so perfect I just have to share it! THIS is what we're fighting against when we try to reign in our book-acquisition habit... (and try we will, this year is all about the resistance, right Laura? Right Bex? ALL FOR ONE!)
"She herself was a victim of that lust for books which rages in the breast like a demon, and which cannot be stilled except by the frequent and plentiful acquisition of books... Book lovers are thought by unbookish people to be gentle and unworldly, and perhaps a few of them are so. But there are others who will lie and scheme and steal to get books as wildly and unconscionably as the dop-taker in pursuit of his drug... They want books as a Turk is thought to want concubines - not to be hastily deflowered, but to be kept at their master's call, and enjoyed more often in thought than in reality."Sound familiar?
By about lunchtime I'd completely caved and decided that although I couldn't watch the new movie adaptation of Jane Eyre until I'm done with the book, I COULD rewatch the BBC adaptation, because it's in episodes that I can watch as I go (not cheating, see?). So I made pizza and watched the first episode (up to the HOLY SHIT THE BED'S ON FIRE! scene), then I read and read and read, and then I watched the SECOND episode which took me right up to my current spot in the book (Jane leaving Thornfield to visit her dying aunt), and then I read some more. And then I gave up and watched My Mad Fat Diary, which was suprisingly brilliant.
I got to some of the really good bits in Jane Eyre today, like the 'gypsy woman' visiting Thornfield to tell the ladies' fortunes, and Mason getting attacked, and Rochester and Jane teasing each other about her wages before she leaves for Gateshead. I'd forgotten how scared Jane becomes of the seemingly unstoppable 'Grace Poole' and her murderous rampages too, which helps explain why my childhood fear of her (the first time round I didn't know the truth, of course) is probably my clearest memory of that very first reading!
"What crime was this, that lived incarnate in this sequestered mansion, and could neither be expelled nor subdued by the owner? - what mystery, that broke out, now in fire and now in blood, at the deadest hours of night? What creature was it, that, masked in an ordinary woman's face and shape, uttered the voice, now of a mocking demon, and anon of a carrion-seeking bird of prey?"
Definitely more terrifying applied to a seemingly normal servant than to an incarcerated madwoman, no? Poor Bertha...
I didn't read a bleedin' thing today. It was my LAST day off, and as such I spent most of the day sitting on my bedroom floor, surrounded by piles of newspapers and magazines and bank statements that have been steadily accumulating in a quiet corner, watching movies. First it was Bridget Jones, just because I was in a Bridget kind of mood. Then it was The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, because I love it (amazing outfits? Julie Andrews mattress surfing? Chris Pine in shirt sleeves?). Then, because I was in a total Anne Hathaway princessy frame of mind after that, and *cough* didn't mind the thought of a bit of Hugh Dancy in a frothy shirt either, I watched Ella Enchanted.
Of course I did. Aaaand then I rounded it off by watching Growing Up Poor on iPlayer and being moved to tears by these three girls living in crappy conditions, having to scrimp and save so diligently that one of the three couldn't afford juice AND toilet roll in the same week, and yet constantly thinking forwards, trying to make the best of things and improve their situation. Which made me feel simultaneously deeply inspired, deeply sad, and like a selfish bitch, which is usually the sign of a good bit of filmmaking, I think. Bravo BBC Three! And so to bed, where I'm sure I'll appreciate my nice mattress and fluffy pillows even more than usual...
*Coughs discreetly* Yeah, umnn, today I read 9 pages. While eating breakfast. After that I went to work, mucked around online, watched DVDs and generally did nothing. NOT A GOOD READING DAY, DUDES. Maybe tomorrow's almost inevitable snow day will be more productive?
Or... not. I slept really badly (SO COLD!), read a handful of pages of Chapter 1 of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone over breakfast, then went BACK to sleep when it became apparent that we weren't going in to the shop. I spent the rest of the day watching hoarding and organisational TV programmes on 4oD, and using the inspiration I was leeching from my laptop to sort through a giant pile of magazines, newspaper book supplements, bank statements, cards and all sorts of other crap that has been slowly creeping up the side of my wardrobe. Aaaand now I'm drinking decaff coffee, watching The Big Bang Theory and contemplating just going to bed early. Is that bad?
|Sheldon is my homeboy! Seriously cute... ;)|
Has your reading been any better than mine this week? Seriously... I get frickin' snow days and BOOM! I waste it sitting on the floor watching old telly. Better luck next week!