52 Book Series. Week 3: “For Whom The Bell Tolls,” Earnest Hemingway.
This is a pretty chunky book and, of course, a classic. It is going to go into my “If I don’t read it within 6 month, it’s gone” pile that I will begin to work on in the beginning of 2014 once I’m done with my New Year’s Resolution to not read for a year.
The book is about blowing up a bridge by an American who is warring in the international brigade. Of course there is a love story, as well as the vivid depiction of real life. But there isn’t really much action which is in Hemingway’s true character. I have to really force myself to read the book, so why is it going into the “to read” pile?
First of all, I’ve already started it, and I hate leaving books without finishing them. This is something that I will have to learn to do because I have quite a few volumes weighing me down that I started but haven’t finished (mostly because they just don’t pull me in!) Second, Hemingway is one of those authors who is a pain to read through, but whose stories are forever ingrained in one’s mind and actually make an impact. I’ve only read two of his other works: “The Sun Also Rises,” and a short story about a girl who is talking to her boyfriend who is trying to convince her to have an abortion. I remember both plotlines even though it’s been more than ten years since I’ve read the stories. I believe it’s the emotions that the books convey that stick with you through life. I’m not sure what emotions “For Whom the Bell Tolls” has me experiencing yet, but I also remember the plotline even though I’ve picked the volume up and put it down more than once over the past two years. I guess the good thing about it is that you never have to re-read from the beginning after not touching the book for a while, because you don’t ever forget what happened.
By the way, from my last two articles in this series I realized that I do not actually own the books that made the most impact on my life. I don’t own “Gone With The Wind,” even though I’ve read it four times in two languages. I don’t have the aforementioned “The Sun Also Rises” sitting on any shelf (and I don’t believe that either set of our parents does). Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” also somehow missed my personal collection. So I may have to deviate from my decluttering plan and write on those even though I don’t own them, because I probably have a lot to say and feel… This also makes me realize that I probably don’t need to keep books at all! I highly doubt that I will be unable to borrow a volume or find it at Goodwill for $0.99 if I am so inclined to read it.
I’m looking forward to the feeling of accomplishment that finishing this book is going to bring into my life, as well as sorting through the emotions and feelings that it will undoubtedly evoke.