Reading Update 10/19
Because of my little experiment, I’ve done a lot of reading over the past few days, but all of it has been in Villette. I probably should have balanced it with a bit of The Victory Lab, but I just felt like taking a short break from that one. As for Clarissa, the fact that I only have it as an e-book made it impossible for me to read while trying to avoid technology.
I actually started reading Villette as an ebook also because it’s one of the ones you can get for free through Amazon. But when I found out that there was a copy of it in our University library, I made the switch in a minute. I definitely prefer physical books to ebooks (in most cases) mostly because technology is so needy. My laptop needs to be turned on and off, it needs time to load, it needs to periodically be plugged into the wall for charging. And after all that, it’s somewhat glitchy in that it can sometimes get stuck on a page for 30 seconds before it loads the next one. All of these are annoyances that are not found with a physical book, and that’s why I will always prefer them.
As I read the first three chapters, I became very interested in the character Polly, so when she disappeared and the plot began to revolve instead around Lucy, a narrator who doesn’t reveal much about herself as a character, it took some time for me to adjust. I also found in this new section that bits of French began popping up more and more. Normally I would be fine with this, but there aren’t any translations given either in the text itself or in footnotes added for the edition itself. As I can’t understand a word of French, these present a constant annoyance to me, like being repeatedly reminded of something a bit unpleasant. I know that the portions are so small that they can’t possibly be very significant, but I want to understand everything.
Apart from that, though, it is a rather enjoyable book, especially once I caught on to a plot and a particular hint. I quickly finished volume 1, which ended on such a cliffhanger that I had to continue. Volume 2 completely subverted an expectation I had been forming, so now it seems that I might have to reexamine everything. I don’t know whether anyone else would have read it the same way, but I did.
I can’t help comparing it to Jane Eyre as I read. The style is such that it’s very easy to see that both have the same author, and because Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books, they keep jumping out at me.
Villette: page 224 of 618
The Victory Lab: page 100 of 321
Clarissa: 70% through volume 9 of 9