Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Kelly's Book 1.13: Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

Dear Jenny,

I'm going to kick this year off with a big one -- Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. I'm traveling next week, so I'll have some quality time to make a dent in this big boy. It's not my longest (that's 1Q84) but it's a leftover from last year's TBR list, so I felt like it was time to take it on.

Honestly, I bought this book such a long time ago that I really couldn't remember what it was about. I re-read the description before putting it back on the TBR list for 2013 and it still seemed interesting, so I'm in.

This one is an eBook and we've talked before about some of the (less obvious) differences between eBooks and pBooks -- here's one: It's waaay easier to tell at a glance how long a pBook is. :) When I bought this eBook, I didn't even look at the page count, whereas if I had picked it up physically in a bookstore, I would have known right away that it's huge. In fact, I didn't really notice until I was counting up pages towards the end of 2012 as I was racing to finish my list.

From now on, I might make more of a point to check page count when buying eBooks.  I don't mind a long book, but I think it's good to know what you're getting into from the start (before you see the looooong line of dots on your Kindle...) How about you -- do you check out the page count when buying an eBook?



  1. K,

    Yeah...that's a long book. I remember when it came out, it got a tremendous amount of buzz. I think Kelly (from Seattle) may have read that one and recommended it to me.

    Oh, the eBook vs. pBook conundrum. I still really like an eBook, but I'm trying to commit to more eBooks...especially since I got my new Kindle paperwhite! It's so fantastic. I just read HHhH on it (which was so good I sort of want a paper copy) and I'm sure I will download another TOB book for the trip.

    I try very hard *not* to have a backlog on the Kindle. It's just too easy to forget they are there. I do have some, because I bought a few Kindle Daily Deals, but in general I try to only buy a new one once I've finished the last one. I DO NOT look at page numbers, so I have also had the unpleasant moment where you realize *just how long* that book really is...


  2. I, too, try to keep the Kindle list pretty clean. In fact, I had planned to start right in on Jonathan Strange... when I bought it. I really have no idea why I didn't start then, then I got distracted, then I remembered it and put in on last year's TBR list... so it's been sitting there for awhile. Other than that, I only have 4 unread books on the Kindle, which I think is pretty good (esp as compared to my pBook TBR shelves...)

    Re: Forgetting the books are there, the most recent Kindle apps have made it muuuuch easier to see what you've got sitting around as "new" than the original app. I don't know how it is on the Kindle device itself, but on the phone, I've been very pleased at how it clearly marks "Hey, dipshit! Here are the books you haven't read yet!"

    Meanwhile, I am about 40 pages into this book and the story seems decent so far, but I am already irritated for two reasons:

    1. Endnotes. And... not just endnotes, but like "made up" endnote shit. (Like excerpts from books that don't exist, like "The History of Magic" and shit). Since I read eBooks mostly on my phone, footnotes are the devil for me, as clicking riiiiight on that sweetspot that will take me to the footnote is almost impossible (it's worse on my Kindle, of course, as I have an old one and have to use the *buttons* to get to the notes and back!) I've been mostly ignoring them, but then I just read one that does seem to be pertinent to the story, so ugh! I'll have to buckle down and read them, I guess. (How is endnote-clicking on the Paperwhite? Maybe this would be a good excuse for me... ;) )


    2. Weird misspellings like "chuse" for "choose" and "surprize" for "surprise". I guess it's because of the time period, but the rest of the language is very modern. So it's a weird jolt. And not all of the words are spelled "olde schoole," so it's kind of distracting when you stumble upon one, just sprinkled randomly in the text.

    Hopefully, the story will be so awesome as to distract me from these issues. We'll see...

  3. Hi Kelly and Jenny: Not sure if it's appropriate for me to comment here, or if this is just the place where the two of you discuss your posts, so tell me to bugger off if the latter is the case!

    Kelly, I did read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell years ago, and don't remember a great deal about it at this point. I do remember enjoying it in the beginning, as I like clever mash-ups of styles and genres. I think that by the end I felt like it could have been a few hundred pages shorter (and Jen will tell you that I like a long book, so length itself is not typically a problem for me) and still been fine.

    I look forward to reading your thoughts once you finish. Hope you're blooming in Cali!

    ~Kelly Ray (not really Ray, but the whole Kelly-Day-Kelly-Ray thing is still cute;)

  4. Hi, Kelly! You are welcome to comment -- no buggering off necessary!

    I am reeeeally struggling to get through JS&MrN right now, as I really feel like it could be much shorter. I'm over halfway through and keep thinking, "Where is this going? What's the story here?" I've heard it's going to pick up, but it's been slow going so far. I must admit, it's also suffering because I've been engrossed in two other *really* good books this month, sooo... it's probably not gotten a fair shake.

    I *am* on track to finish it this month (with a long book and a deadline, page-counting is happening here) so I should have a full report soon.

    Thanks for stopping by! :)

  5. Hahah. I love it when all my Kellys are together in one place. Thanks you, internet. Now if only we could all be together in the same room, preferably with a glass of wine!