I got Jonathan Franzen´s new novel, "Freedom", from the library a few days ago. Like his last novel, "The Corrections", it is heavy. Fivehundredandsixtytwo pages. And, because there are other readers queing up to read it too, I have it on short-loan, which is fourteen days.
Well, I did the math. I timed myself and found I can read three pages in ten minutes. That means it will take me almost thirtytwo hours to read the whole thing. Of the days I have available I can only sit down to read at all for six of those days, if I´m being realistic. That means I have to do a bit more than five hours of reading every one of those days. I can´t do it. Even I can´t do it.
Damn. Because those first pages were really funny, interesting, brilliant even. What to do? I could do my best, try to make it by reading every single minute I have available, at the expense of everything else I want to do. Like spending quality-time with my husband, who will be traveling most weekends after this one until Christmas. I could not bother voting in the election on Sunday. I could put the book up on my to-read-list and wait for the queue to disappear, sometime in the spring. Or I could actually buy it from bokus for 121 SEK. Which is peanuts, really. Except I have this whole big stack of books I also need to read.
Why do americans write such heavy books? Do they get paid by the word?