Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Need To Vs. Want To

Currently, there are two e-books on my iPad: Lindy West's Shrill (2016) and Stephen King's Bag of Bones (1998). I flopped between them today on the train from Madrid to Sevilla (insert nail painting emoji). I wanted to be reading Shrill--it's fascinating and honest and interesting. Every chapter is a caramel in bright foil wrapping. I want to make it last.

But I continue to read ol' Mr. King too. For the opposite reason: I don't want it to last. I want to finish. I am hugely intrigued by the puzzle the book begins with. Page one maybe! A question unanswered that, like a clogged drain, is never a straight put of one hair. There's a clot down there. I just want to know the ending so bad. So much so that when a B-plot gets introduced (and, oh, they do because the book is a jillion pages long I GET IT STEVE PEOPLE ARE COMPLICATED AND MAINE IS COOL), I'm like, "Did we really need this?" The answer is going to be yes because of course all the plots will weave together. Which is ALSO why I can't just skip to the end and read the last chapter. I won't understand what's happening. By then, then there will be twenty-seven more key characters I haven't even met yet.

Both authors are doing their jobs. I'm hooked, aren't I? But one I appreciate much more. One I will always return to. The other I was make a pact to avoid and then in a moment of no-other-books-are-available-at-the-library weakness, return to him as I always do. (In his defense, I always do.)

I am reminded of The People Vs. OJ Simpson--the best TV I've seen all year (and so much TV is good right now!). It wasn't about the end. It couldn't be. We all know what went down. NO, it was about each episode--more--each act break, the nuance, the lines, the way I asked myself questions when the screen cut to black. I'll sit through two hours of obnoxious Q and A with the host of The Bachelor to find out who won, but I wish I didn't have to. Meanwhile, I'd hungrily chow down on Broad City even if the episode was titled, "Abby and Illana Sit On A Couch for Thirty Minutes."

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