I was a little mad at myself on Wednesday when we received our novel study books. The weekend before, I’d finally cracked open Blindness, by José Saramago, and although I was only about 30 or 40 pages in by then, they were much too gripping for me to put down the book and start on The Catcher In the Rye, which was the book that I chose/was assigned to me for our novel study/book club unit, but I didn’t want to read both at the same time. Therefore, for both of the blocks allotted for us to read this past week, I pulled Blindness rather than The Catcher In the Rye out of my backpack, slouched down in my chair, and lost myself in the world Saramago created within the pages of the book.
Whenever I had spare time that week, I’d put on my “Favourites” playlist on iTunes and lie back on my couch and read. Most of the need was that the book held me fast to the couch, that I had to try quite hard to get the covers together to put it down, but a part of me was also racing time, because I knew that I needed to finish Blindness before I’d allow myself to open my assigned novel study book.
Last night, as I attempted to read late into the night, my eyelids fought the desire to finish off the last 50 or so pages of the book, but, after nearly falling asleep multiple times, I gave up, and after putting the book on my night table, fell asleep almost instantly. Not surprisingly, when I woke up this morning, the first thought that entered my mind was to grab Blindness and lose myself once more in the thrilling and thought-provoking pages of the book that now sits so innocently beside me. As the pages I had left to read dwindled, I began to wonder how the book would end. It seemed to me at that point that I was only beginning to learn of the story of the world within the book, but as my eyes flashed occasionally to the page numbers at the bottom of each page, I began to anticipate some sort of philosophical ending.
I was met with surprise when I flipped to the last page of the book, but when I finally finished that last page, chapter, and story of the book, I was left with a feeling of being in the presence of some holy being. As I usually do when I finish reading a book, I closed it and stared for a minute at the cover, and contemplated everything that happened within it. Having read it, I wholeheartedly agree with the quote prefacing the summary on the back cover, “‘This is an important book, one that is unafraid to face all of the horrors of the century.’ -The Washington Post”. It was an intense book, but I feel like there was a lot in it that I missed, or that I just can’t understand right now. I’m sure this is a book that I’ll remember in a few years, and when I do, I hope to read it again and get a lot more out of it. Nonetheless, when I finished it, the first thought that entered my mind was “Wow”.
The Catcher In the Rye sits atop Blindness on my desk right now, and within its plain covers and courier text, I hope to find that same feeling when I finish it. Now that I’ve given myself permission to open it, I get the feeling I’ll forget all about my iPod on the way to and from school this week.