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July 27, 2004: A little light reading

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A few months ago a friend mentioned that she gets together with a group of women from time to time and they go for tea. There is one woman who is in charge of tracking down places to go, and when she finds a new place, the group gathers, dresses appropriately, and goes off to have a ladylike tea.

It sounded intriguing, since I've had so much fun going to the tearoom with my female in-laws. So the friend invited me to come to the next one, which is going to be in Napa near the end of August.

Since its inception the group has grown beyond just meeting for tea. Recently they decided they should also become a book club. I was actually supposed to go to the one previous to this upcoming tea, and had read the designated book ("Five People You Meet in Heaven") in anticipation. It wasn't necessarily my type of reading, but it was short and I skimmed it in record time and decided I could at least converse intelligently about it. But then schedules and life got in the way and the last tea did not work out. And then I found out what we are reading for the upcoming tea. Of all the books in the world, someone apparently had the bright idea of picking Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina". All I would like to know is why.

When we were at Costco this weekend I saw it on the sale table, so grabbed a copy, figuring this way I wouldn't have to worry about library fines (I am notorious for forgetting to turn my library books in on time). Later that afternoon I sat down and opened the book, figuring I could crank out a few hundred pages while Richard was off at his movie.

Ha! It is all I can do to force myself to read more than a page at a time. Right now it is sitting on the breakfast nook table and I have determined that I must read it each morning while eating breakfast, because at least that way I am forced to plow my way through 30 or 40 torturous pages at a sitting before I can escape. The length is not the problem it's a long book, true, but I've been known to devour 800+ page books in less than 5 hours, and to read more than one of such lengthy tomes in one sitting when the urge strikes me. The problem is that I am finding this book horribly dull. I read for pleasure, and this book gives me none. If I did not *have* to read it I would never have purchased the darn thing in the first place the subject material does not interest me in the slightest, and my eyes may just fall out of my sockets will all the rolling they are doing as I shudder through page after page of weak, simpering women and men tiptoeing around the niceties of a society I am eternally grateful I never had to endure.

I am assured that it does, eventually, get slightly more interesting. I am, however, already nearly 250 pages into the book and I see no sign of this happening any time soon. But I shall persevere. After all, I had to read some equally dull and painful literature back in high school, and somehow I not only survived unscathed, I managed to churn out papers on that inane drivel that earned me top grades every time. So I have no doubt that I'll make it through this one too. Somehow. Painfully. Even if I have to break down and use CliffNotes to do it.

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