13 April 2020

When Reading Results in a Conversation

I was in the metro the other day, on my way from work. I happen to have been reading a big fat book, Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace (review coming soon). This is a book that has more than a thousand pages, and yes, these are the times when I wonder why I opted not to buy an e-reader. It would have been more convenient. However, it turns out that lugging a big fat book during my commute also brings small surprises.

A girl approached me and asked if I spoke English. When I answered in the affirmative, she went on asking me about the book I was reading. She asked why I opted to read that book. I told her that yes, I do have favourite genres when it comes to reading, but every now and then I do want to challenge myself and read something that is out of my comfort zone. Infinite Jest is one such book. And yes, I must say this is outside of my comfort zone indeed.

We carried on chatting, until I had to get off the train. She was from Moscow, and she originally tried reading the book in English, yet she said that there were so many words that she couldn't understand, so she waited for the Russian translation to come out, which she is currently reading. She asked me what I think of the book, and I told her that after reading 400 pages so far, I still cannot make up my mind. There were parts that I found super hilarious, and there were others which just made me wonder what the heck am I reading. Nevertheless I told her that I am the type of person that has to finish a book, no matter how hard it might be. So in the end I will form an opinion. And of course, I will blog about it.

In any case, I do like reading books, in analogue. Sometimes it results in these small connections, random conversations with strangers, and it does brighten your day when it happens.

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