I don't have a way with words and most of the time I can't express my thoughts on things very well. At least not without saying Dude half a dozen times. Anyway, I read books for the way they make me think and feel, for the way they change the way I think and feel. But I'm going to try and get some thoughts out on this one.
So with that, I've jumped into all 1,000 + pages of Infinite Jest for the third time and I'm going to try to keep up with the Infinite Jest Online Summertime Appreciation Society and/or Book Club. It's totally official.
I vaguely recall buying the book the summer after I graduated from college. I can't remember why but I suppose it was partially because I liked the cover, the clouds and the orange, white and black futura type. I started reading it for real, the first time, somewhere in the spring of 2004. I can almost pinpoint the day that cemented my first reading. I even have a little souvenir.
That's right, cook county jury duty. I sat in that room all day and read read read. To be honest, I didn't get a lot out of my first reading. I understood practically nothing about Marathe and Steeply and anything related to Quebec (still some of the rockier parts for me to get through) and overall, i just didn't GET it. I don't remember finding it funny, I don't remember thinking about it when I wasn't reading it.
Then came the second reading, last summer. It became such a joy to me. I laughed out loud. I think I frightened all my friends and coworkers by always bringing up anecdotes from some weird book they'd never read. I thought about the book constantly. I even felt like the characters should have been there when we took our trip to Boston last fall.
It really helped me to keep notes, something I've almost never done with a novel. By the end of my second reading, little index cards were scattered all over - my nightstand, the living room, my purse, my car - all with character notes and vocab words. The vocab words really helped. I wish I would have saved all my vocab cards from last summer since apparently not all those words stuck.
So, there's that. In an attempt to not bore people that don't care about Infinite Jest (most of you, I'd wager), I'm moving my book nerdiness to a tumblr, oltremare.tumblr.com. See you there. It's going to be the best tumblr o.a.t.