Earlier this month I made a tentative plan to spend the rest of the year trying to read books I already have — review copies or bought copies — and limit books from the library to try and make a dent on the piles and piles of books that are starting to weigh on me.
Of course, I wasn’t going to pull myself off the lists of holds I’m on at the library, which foiled my plans: Both The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides and The Magician King by Lev Grossman arrived for me on Tuesday. Curses, effective library system! (I kid, I kid!).
Of course, I dropped all my other reading plans to start those, since I haven’t figured out my library’s renewal policy exactly and would be deeply sad if I had to send them back. I finished The Marriage Plot yesterday — mini review: I loved the beginning, thought it got a little meandering through the middle, but unexpectedly loved the ending — and immediately wanted to start The Magician King.
However, I got about 10 pages in and realized I couldn’t remember anything about The Magicians, Grossman’s first book in the series that I read last year, except that it was like Harry Potter but darker. It was like there was this gaping hole in my brain where a summary of The Magicians should go. I even went online to try and find some clues, but it seems that the Interwebz is entirely devoid of a comprehensive plot summary of The Magicians. How is that possible?
Anyway… I decided I couldn’t read The Magician King without refreshing my memory. It just wasn’t going to be satisfying, and I am over-the-moon excited about this book. If I lived in a town with a bookstore, I would have gone out and bought a copy immediately. Luckily, my small local library came through in a big way again because they had a copy of The Magicians in stock and on the shelves!
I had to brave our first winter snowstorm yesterday to go cover a story anyway, so I made a detour to the library first to pick up the book. I got home from working at about 6 p.m., ate dinner, and settled in with the book for the evening at about 7 p.m. I don’t know what got into me, but I read that book amazingly fast. I’ve only got about 50 pages left in a 400 page to finish this morning! I read fast, but not normally that fast.
I’m not much of a re-reader, so this particular super speed-reading experience was novel. It made me curious whether it’s possible to read faster when we’re re-reading because there’s a subconscious familiarity with the the book? Or, whether the fact that I’m mostly re-reading The Magicians as a plot refresher rather than diving into it for the first time meant I was reading less deeply and therefore more quickly? Has anyone else had this experience? Thoughts?