Thursday, March 06, 2014

Sometimes it takes a while to read a book

I'm reading "The Monuments Men" in the form of a real book, since it wasn't available at the library as an e-book.  It's taking me forever.  Thank goodness the chapters are short, because sometimes I just tell myself that if I read one or two chapters, then I can take a break.  

Why bother, you ask, if the book is that hard to read?  

Because the underlying story is fascinating!  During World War II, the Germans, at Hitler's command, seized all the world's most famous art pieces... literally trainloads of paintings and other art... and hauled them off.  Paintings like the Mona Lisa, roughly taken and tossed in box cars.  
The book is so hard for me to read because there are so many leading characters.  Thank goodness there are a couple of pages in the front of the book with pictures, telling a little about each person, so when I get confused as to who I'm reading about I can flip back to that.  I'm telling you, I have never worked so hard at reading a book, unless you want to count the times I've read Numbers and Deuteronomy as I read through the Bible. 

Another thing that has made it slow going for me is that when a cathedral or work of art is mentioned, I have to put the book down and look it up on the Internet.  These Internet searches of mine began with the bombing of the Monte Casino Abby, and have interrupted my reading at various intervals since.  The book is due back at the library in five days; I hope I can finish it by then.  

Early in the book, I read about the Bayeux Tapestry:  That thing has stolen my heart.  I will never see it in person (unless it's transported to this area for a viewing, which I don't think will happen), but I have looked at every picture of it I can find.  It wouldn't surprise me if I started dreaming about it.  

I can't believe the clarity of the pictures on this centuries-old work of art!  It tells a story, which you can follow with a little on-line help HERE.  

The thing is 21 inches tall and 231 feet long, and I would love to just start at one end and follow it to the other.  

Anyhow.  This is my downfall, one of the reasons it's taking me forever to read "The Monuments Men"; and the Bayeux Tapestry is only one of several historic things I've looked up.  At least I'm learning stuff, right?



Sounds fascinating. Hope you finish the book.

Margaret said...

I am the same way; I have to know EVERYTHING about the details. The book was rumored to be hard going; you will definitely need to see the movie! During a scene in it, I turned to my friend and whispered, "Is that the Bayeux Tapestry?" So, I'm glad to know that I was right! I have seen the tapestry, walked around it, and pondered its story, and it IS amazing.