Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Prayer For Owen Meany

Recently I bought a book based on another author's "The Book that Changed Me" comment in the Sunday paper. I am a sucker for first lines and paragraphs and this line from A Prayer for Owen Meany" by John John Irving reeled me in:

I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice - not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother's death, but because he is the reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany.

The first line was not misleading. I loved the story. But I hated the physical book. My husband bought it for me last month (back in the days when we had a local bookstore - 3rd largest city in NSW and now not a bookstore in sight!) - the problem is it is a small paperback format. The print was so tiny my glasses strained to breaking point and the binding was so tight it was uncomfortable to hold open to read.

I am one of those people who will buy both paper books and e-books. I will always buy paper books for the look and feel, and to have my favourites on the shelf where I can see and touch them. But I will never buy a book like this again.

But it's not all doom and gloom. It's a wonderful story and story will always survive in some form or another.


Jeffery E Doherty said...

I know, I was visiting last weekend and stood in front of the empty bookshop feeling really sad.

We still have a local bookstore in Bathurst. I hope is stays that way.

I'm not an e-book fan (that might change if I buy an iPad) give me paper or audio. I listened to a sample of White Crane - I don't know if I can get past the american accent of the reader though.


AJ Barnett said...

Bookstores are rather special. The very smell of them is exciting. I too am not a fan of reading off a screen. The magic is somehow missing - but I guess I'll go with the flow eventually.

A good review, Thank you.

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