As an avid Stephen King follower, I was dismayed when my work schedule got in the way of completing Under the Dome, one of his recent novels. It’s been out for a while, but it’s tough taking an 1100+ page tome onto airplanes.
Before everyone (all 4 of you) rises up in arms, I’m fully aware this is what the Kindle and iPad are for. But, I enjoy the feeling of a book in my hands. I especially enjoy it when it comes to long works of fiction. Picking up the physical book is like a transformation for me.
When a new Stephen King novel comes out, I usually get it the first day and have it read in a matter of hours/days. Because of my travel schedule, I had to go to the unusual step of lugging the book with me to Denver, Williamsburg, Chicago and back, just so I could stay in the flow of the story. Despite that, I was still only finding enough time in the day for ten or fifteen pages.
Two weeks ago, the night before I was to leave for Denver, I tried to stay up and finish it. Lack of sleep got the best of me, and I set the book down. I decided not to take it with me on the trip. That next night, I was stuck without the book, ready to know how it finished. But, I’d have to wait a week until I returned home.
Last weekend, I returned home to complete the story. I fell into my cocoon one last time with Under the Dome. Did the book end exactly how I would have liked? I think so. But, the entire story was a courageous suspension of disbelief. Most of King’s novels are that way, and that may be a large part of the attraction. I spend time reading newspapers, e-mails, websites, non-fiction works. The material that spews forth from King’s mind is sometimes difficult to follow. But I can always tell he enjoyed writing a story when I get to the end. Not because he says so, as he did at the end of Dome. But because of the feverish pace the story takes. The left hand turns that seem so logical in a “Through the Looking Glass” sort of way.
I enjoy my iPad for lots of functional work tasks. It’s great to show off pictures of my daughter.
These still won’t replace a well-bound book sitting on my shelf, waiting for me to hang my disbeliefs at the door and come along for the ride.