Monday, September 13, 2010

I Hereby Confess...

In filling out my publisher's Author Questionnaire, I reached the question, "What book have you faked reading?" I thought this question beyond silly and wondered whether most people had faked reading a book at some point in their lives. Not me, oh no, I was the Good Student and read every book on the district reading list for my grade...even the ones it seemed no one else did. (I'm looking at you, Moby Dick.) Certainly there were books I started and dreaded having to flip past page two (eyes on you, The Sound and the Fury), but I stuck it out and finished them all. I even went so far as to take on a bit of required reading for my then-fiance because the doofus hadn't bothered to pace himself all semester and was heading into the finals with four books unread. Not sure why Cliff Notes weren't an option...maybe they were unavailable.

In any case, I was a studious reader while still in school. Once out, the classics took a backseat and literary fiction was steamrolled by commercial. I was working and just didn't have the inclination for anything too 'important'. The exceptions were Jane Austen's novels. In school only Pride & Prejudice had been required, but I loved it, and then I saw Emma with Gwyneth Paltrow and loved that too. I decided to read The Complete Works. And I did...or thought I did.

We now come to a little irony. After filling out the Author Questionnaire, I realized with quite a little bit of shock that I had actually--inadvertantly--faked reading a book. I'd told an editor that I'd read all Jane Austen's books and truly believed I had. But I hadn't. I'd loved the movie version of Emma starring Gwyneth Paltrow and willingly watched it multiple times. I was so comfortable with the storyline that I believed I'd read the book.

I admit to you now, that I have not.

But I plan to remedy that and have already taken steps to do so. My spotless record may be somewhat tarnished, but I believe I can polish it right up to its original sheen. I'll feel better after that happens.

Care to let me in on your little secret? Which book did you trade in for the Cliff Notes?


Teenage Bride said...

I did indeed fame Huckleberry Fin.. I HATE that book. Could not for the life of me get past page 20.

Emma is one of my favorites by the way

Lucy said...

I LOVED Emma! I had to read that for a class last year and I just loved it. I'm not one for re-reading books but I had been planning on taking a class this semester where that (along with Pride and Prejudice) were required reading - and I was looking forward to read it. But life has a way of getting in the way of plans.

Anyway, last fall I was taking a class and I'd read the wrong book for class and everyone was talking about how much they hated the book we were supposed to have read. The instructor's lecture didn't entice me to read the book either. I had decided to never read the book and hope it wasn't prominent on any exams. As it turned out I had to withdraw from the class (life again) so it didn't end up mattering. But that would've been my "fake read".

Allie said...

Ha! That's very very funny!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

No! You faked reading Emma!?
I faked reading anything by Edith Wharton. True story.

David Cranmer said...

I can't think of one but I've given up on quite a few including The Sound and the Fury.

Alyssa Goodnight said...

Really, Jill? I remember liking Huckleberry Finn.

Sounds like you dodged a bullet, Lucy. I'm definitely looking forward to Emma. :)

Good call, David. Good call. Blech.

Sarakastic said...

I never made it through the Sound and the Fury either, but maybe I'll pretend to because it looks like no one else has either.

Fiction Chick said...

God. Where do I begin? I've read the Cliff's Notes for everything, though. Does that count? ;)