Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Big Fat Books

I have a mental category of books that I dub BFBs or "Big Fat Books". (A subset of this is BFFBs which are "Big Fat Fantasy Books", of which there seem to be many.)

In the last few years, I've found myself scared of Big Fat Books. So today, after giving up on one, I've gone and started another. I don't know if I'm silly or wisely facing my fear head on.

I've been a reader all my life. My mother claims that I was a terrible child to keep happy until I learned to read. Then you just had to give me a book and everything was okay. It has always been a great relief to me that when I developed CFS I maintained my ability to read. I don't know what I would have done or how I would have coped if I hadn't.

But CFS is a funny beast that keeps changing as the months and years go by (and I've had it for just over 17 and a half years now). I've found in the last four or five years that I don't read as easily as I used to do. It drives me batty as there are as many books I want to read now as ever - more in fact because I read book blogs and find all sorts of things I want to read that I never would have known about otherwise.

I think this is were the fear of BFBs has come from as it now feels like a huge undertaking to start a big book, where once it was just a new adventure and the fatter the book the better. But the combination on a huge list of books I want to read and the larger energy requirement to read anything can be overwhelming.

But I still have big fat books I want to read. So I've just started Judas Unchained by Peter F. Hamilton. This is the second book of a duology, both of which clock in at about 1000 pages. I read the first one back in December 2005 (ah, the joys of Library Thing) and started this one in February of 2006. But the big-fatness of it put me off and I returned it after a couple of chapters. Now it is two and a half years since I read the first one and since that's a long time anyway and memory problems are another part of CFS I have an added worry - that I'm not going to remember enough of the first book to make sense of the second.

Oh well, I'm going to give it my best shot. I hope this won't be another DNF.


Maree said...

I loved those books. But they do take a lot of concentration to get through.
I call BFBs "chunky" reads. :)

Tez Miller said...

The main problem with BFBs is that they're so troublesome to hold, especially nearing the end. I struggled with a 640-page tome recently, so 1000 sounds far too hurtful.

Have a lovely day! :-)

Kerry said...

Tez, perhaps I should have clarified. I'm reading it as an ebook, which means there is less to hold, only my PDA.

Michelle said...

As a mother of two children, I tend to avoid BFBs as well! Not enough levels of concentration!