First Facebook takes away the fabulous Scrabulous, and now it has redesigned its look, taking away one of my favorite features, the Virtual Bookshelf.
It gave me a reason to actually finish books, just so I could keep track of them there, along with a short “review.” Now it’s gone, and I have to figure out another motivation to actually finish a book. It’s too bad that many of the books that I read don’t provide their own motivation, i.e., to find out what happens, but that lies in the nature of what I read. I can’t help but read books that are borderline homework. In other words, I heard about them somewhere and figured I ought to read them in order to be a well-rounded person. And because I didn’t come to the books on my own – whatever that might mean – it takes me a while to get into them. I know, though, that I need to give the books a fair shake, which means investing some time. The end result is that I have lots of books on my shelf with bookmarks in them.
I recently finished one, Labyrinth: Stoffe I-III, by Friedrich Duerrenmatt. I’m so proud. Ordinarily it wouldn’t be a problem because I love his writing and I whiz through his books. Or, rather, I love his thinking and sometimes make it through his writing fairly quickly.
This one, though, is a little tougher to get through because it is a memoir of sorts. And, being the writer he is, he acknowledges at the beginning that his finished writing presents a certain overview of his life: those parts of his life which he eventually figured out how to put into words. So his memoir is going to be an alternation of unfinished writing (or unpublished, rather, because they have beginning-middle-end yet lack something that lets him send it forth to survive on its own) and a biographical framework explaining why the various non-pieces have nagged at him all his life.
So why am I telling you this? Are you going to go out and read it for yourself? Unlikely. But it’s something to think about.