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Sunday, July 26, 2009

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The Sunday Salon - Reading and then some.

The Sunday "Who reads these days?"

The famous line I heard from most these days, from most of the community. Living in Brunei, reading has pretty much become one of the least favorite hobbies around. I guess it doesn't just apply to just Brunei but, I can't help noticing living in my district, it's pretty much hard to get nice leisure books.

I'm talking about bookstores that sells bestseller people, classics too.we barely have good bookstores around in my part of the district. I myself have have to go to the capital just to get my share of the literature.

Teh other day I was sitting about while waiting for my order in some resturant, reading one of the Twilight book, I notice, people starring at me like I'm some what of a weirdo. I must admit I'm a bit weird at some point, but reading in public is the least of my problems.

As a librarian, it's regretful to see that the teenagers these days have no idea who Tom Sawyer is, or Alice in Wonderland (of course they know what I was talking about now, since Tim Burton is making a movie out of it now - comign next year people). They have no idea who Oliver Twist is either. Sad.

Speaking on that note, ever notice how we know most of the classics but, the golden question is, does any of us actually read them? Do we know about it from movies, the radio, the cliches or was it just something you know about.

Ever since I was young, Oliver Twist, the Three Musketeers, Alice in Wonderland and Sherlock Holmes have become part of my favorite literature. But of course, back then I was reading the children version of the literature. A few months ago, I found the Penguin publications and damn those are thick! I remembered reading really thin versions of it and I felt left out. Then, I caught myself thinking. Have I actually read those books properly? I guess not. cause I ended up wanting to get a copy to read wondering what I've missed.
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  1. I have a real dislike of 'watered down' classics. It's like watching a film adaptation. The author chose to put in certain episodes for a reason and you omit them at your peril. Still at least you can get the 'full' version easily enough in print. My real bete noir is the abridged audio book. Try getting hold of a complete Dickens and you'll see what I mean.

  2. Yes, I'm reading a Penguin classic of The Count of Monte Cristo right now, and man, is it thick!! What surprises me, in teaching literature courses for high schoolers, is how many of their parents say, "I never read that in high school. We really didn't read anything." And most of those parents graduated 20-25 years ago. So it's not exactly a brand new thing.

  3. Most people know the basic story lines of the classics (with a lot of mistaken assumptions mostly), but have never read them. Gone With the Wind, for example, everyone knows about it, most know the storyline a bit, but not many have read them. The same goes for Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and Alexandre Dumas, to name a few authors. I, myself, like classics, but I think the word classic brings up many negative associations in the minds of most people. Which is too bad, because they reached the status of being classics because the stories are really good.

  4. You make a very good point, Samantha. The plot lines of most classics have been adapted into movie and TV plots which are easier to digest than the originals, so few people bother to go to the source material. I tried to read the original Frankenstein last year when it was assigned to my 16-year-old daughter for summer reading, and neither one of us could get through it.

  5. I love to read classics. I'm reading The Brothers Karamazov with my online book club now. My favorite book ever is Jane Eyre.



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