In which I admit that I am sometimes afraid to start a book

I have been reading a lot of fluff lately. I am not exactly apologizing for that, because my take on reading lite is that people should read whatever they want without being ashamed or feeling that they have to explain themselves. Fluff is fine. I think reading as a form of escape is fine (though maybe not all the time). The problem with fluff is that it gets you out of the habit of having to read for comprehension. I can read something light with about half my mind and still finish it in less than two hours. I have read so much fluff lately that I’m afraid to start Howards End. It’s been on my list for a while [aside: I always put really “important” books on my list. And then I’m a little intimidated to actually read them. Anyone else do that?] and I pulled it off the shelf today. It’s sitting on my desk waiting to be read. I just have to be willing to start it.

I am often afraid to start a new book (which I don’t think I have ever admitted before – take from that what you will!). Not because I fear becoming engrossed in it – that excitement about a book is one of my most favorite things. No, I am mostly afraid I won’t be able to keep all the facts straight. I’m afraid I’ll miss something and be confused. I am very afraid of being confused. This fear is especially prominent when I am reading an author I have never read before. I was very apprehensive about starting Girl with a Pearl Earring, but those fears were completely unfounded. I was drawn into the story from the very first chapter. I love the feeling I get when a book is easy to get into, when I care about the characters.

From what I remember, I enjoyed the movie version of Howards End. I guess we’ll see if I also enjoy the book. (See what I’ve done here? I used my lunch break to write this post, so now I don’t have to start it yet. Sneaky, eh?)

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