My plan for 2010 was to re-read all six of Jane Austen’s novels, in order of publication. I have multiple copies of each novel in storage (most of my life is in storage *sigh*), but with an Amazon gift certificate I bought a set of Signet Classics of Austen’s novels, with introductions by Margaret Drabble and afterwords by current popular authors (Eloisa James and Julia Quinn, to name but two). First up is Sense & Sensibility, published in 1811 (afterword is by Mary Balogh). But the question is, when do I read?
One major difference between here and New York is the lack of public transportation. Both Sarasota and Manatee Counties have bus lines, but none of them is terribly extensive and, while my office is along one of the bus routes that goes through Downtown Sarasota, I’ve never seen more than a handful of people on any given bus.
When I lived in New York, my commute allowed me to get in 30-45 uninterrupted minutes of reading, twice a day. But I drive to work now, so I figured it was time to try audio books. My brother, who lives in Los Angeles, loves them, so I did try one recently based on his enthusiasm for them. I’d already bought an audio copy of Georgette Heyer’s “Sylvester” (the hard copy is a favorite of mine anyway, and this particular audio edition is read by the incomparable Richard Armitage), but I lost interest rather quickly because it’s abridged and I knew which parts were missing. I could take others out of the library, load them onto my iPod and listen to them in the car, but that’s just a hassle, particularly if the book takes up 15 or more discs. Even if my car had a CD player (which it doesn’t), going the library route wouldn’t work because you only get the discs for a week at a time. My commute is about 30 minutes in each direction — at that rate, how much can I possibly listen to in a week?
It doesn’t hurt that I’m in school (yet again) and am stuck reading about estates/trusts, contracts and torts and just don’t want to read anything else that requires thought. Trying to come up with enough material to create a coherent blog is tough enough! I’m just going to have to give up playing around on the computer when I finish my schoolwork.
All right. It’s time to stop whining and go immerse myself in the lives of the Dashwood sisters.
Updated 1/30/10: Speaking of Sense & Sensibility, here is a Wall Street Journal review of a new modernization of the novel. This one’s called “The Three Weissmanns of Westport” and, according to the review, it’s “a fitfully appealing, rather too literal retelling” of Austen’s story. Based on this review, I won’t bother buying it. I’ll see if any of the local libraries has it…maybe.