Friday, April 15, 2011

On Musicophilia

”Have you read Oliver Sacks’ Musicophilia?”

“I haven’t finished it. Read about 120 pages.”

“But you’re currently reading it?”

“Ehrm. That’s a matter of definition. I still keep a bookmark in it.”

“And when did you last move this bookmark?”

“Sometime late 2009? December? Or February-ish 2010?”

“So you’re not really reading it, currently?”

“You know, it’s a quite long book. A lot of pages. Non-fiction pages. With a lot of examples on them.”

“Sure. But you knew this when you bought it, right?”

“I bought it at Harvard!”


“Harvard! I can verifiably say that I went to Harvard!”

“To the Harvard bookstore, yes. But they don’t give you a Harvard degree just because you visited the bookstore.”

“Duh. But I don’t have to specify that.”

“Very well. You went to Harvard. But back to Oliver Sacks. You like him, don’t you?”

“Very much. Which is why I bought the book in the first place. At Harvard.”

“If you like the author so much, why didn’t you finish the book?”

“It took me about a decade to finish The Island of the Colorblind, another of his books. I really liked that one.”

“So you’re a pretty slow reader?”

“Not really. I just read a whole lot of other stuff in between. There is a limit to how much non-fiction I can be bothered to read.”

“Don’t you have a history degree..?”

“I have. Don’t see your point.”

“So are you saying that you like Musicophilia, but that it is a slow read?”

“It’s not a page turner. But it’s very interesting. And funny. And occasionally slightly repetitive. But definitely entertaining.”

“And you’re definitely going to finish it?”

“I definitely might do that.”

“Why write a review about a book you haven’t finished anyway?”

“This is a review?”

From better times


Tundiel said...


I have books like that....

M.J. Nicholls said...

Some books are so lovably putdownable, aren't they? Currently I am "getting through" Witz by Joshua Cohen by staring at it and writing this blog comment.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Enjoyed reading this, there are some books I hate to put down and others I start and hate to pick them up again.


Stephanie V said...

Ah, the telltale bookmark. I have some of those on my bookshelf. Must reach up there and continue reading. Soon.

April said...

I've been through a few like that. Have read about 20 books while reading it becuase I can't be bothered to read it through. LoL..I just read around it until I can get done.

I really like your blog, so I want to give you an award I am to pass on, the Versatile Blogger Award. You can either go here ( ), or click on my name to go to my blog, to accept, if you choose to do so.

Ann said...

Brilliant!!! I love the 'I went to Harvard'

I have a few books with bookmarks in them for longer than I care to mention. They to fall into the, 'not a page turner' category. But I too 'definitely might' finish them.

Marjorie said...

I'm not much of a non-fiction reader either. I have a hard time getting through it.

Cruella Collett said...

Tara - I think it has to do with me never being able to read just one book at the time. With multiple books competing for my attention, I end up putting down the ones that aren't super-exciting, even if I do like them.

Mark - I find myself doing that a lot. Putdownable - definitely a word for the keep!

Yvonne - true, I have those too.

Stephanie - occasionally I pull myself together and finish putdownable books that have been on the shelf for too long, but often they stay up there forever...

April - you're a multiple books at the time reader too! And thank you so much for thinking of me with this award. I really appreciate it, but I decided a while ago that I would gracefully decline any awards in the future (you can read about it here: I still really, really appreciate that you like my blog enough to give me one, though - big hugs for that! (Also - I'm afraid I cannot seem to access either your blog or your profile, Will try to email you to see if anything can be done)

Ann - I *almost* considered buying a Harvard tee of some kind just to "prove" that I in fact did go there. But then I realized that was taking things a little too far...

Marjorie - me too. It helps - heaps - if the writer (like Sacks) is witty and presents his material in an understandable fashion. But still. I'm a novel gal.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That was great, Cruella!

Cold As Heaven said...

Yes, that kind of things happen from time to time. I just made my 2nd attempt on Ulysses. Now it's given up for good >:)

Cold As Heaven

Kelly said...

My daughter has read lots of Oliver Sacks. Besides her BA in History, she also got a BA in Psychology and loved all the brain-based stuff. It's History, though, that she's doing for the MA. :)

baygirl32 said...

I might have one or two books like that, ok fine, there are 3!

HulaBuns said...

I love "I definitely might do that!" - hilarious. :)

I have plenty of books that I'm reading (well and have been for years), so you're not alone.

Carrie said...

This was good. Love the part about Harvard.

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