Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Howards End, by E. M. Forster

This is very rare, for me to write on a book I haven't finished, but I'm compelled to write something. So, thus far? Honest opinion?

How do I start...? I am in control of my reading nearly all of the time. You know I read at a rapid pace, that much is clear, and I have said time and again, rather than put a book down that I dislike or hate, I'll power through it, and frequently come out with nothing. Which, is the only outcome for this kind of stubbornness. And I say this time and again because people sometimes compliment me on my reading ability and wish they could do the same. This method I sometimes employ is neither admirable or desirable. This method is based entirely on stubbornness.

But yes, I am in control. I go at the pace I want to go out, and clearly there are times when I miss things (usually I don't care because I dislike the book), but mostly I have a reasonable command over what I'm reading.

There have been times where I have imagined the author standing behind me urging me to slow down, and sometimes I will, sometimes I won't. But E. M. Forster: E. M. Forster put his hand on to my shoulder and said, "Slowly." It was non-negotiable!

Howards End is the only book where I have not been in control, and I wonder - to those who also read at a rapid pace, do you understand what I mean, and can you explain it a little better than I'm doing? There is absolutely no other option here. You read it slowly, or you do not read it. As a result, I am totally and utterly engaged, and I am thoroughly enjoying it, and the author has me in complete control. I've never experienced this so intensely with an author. 

So there is no scope for planning, here, which I rather like. I'll finish it when I finish it, and when i finish it is down to E. M. Forster. After I've posted this I'm going to head to bed, and as to where I get, who knows? But I love it, I do love it very much and this is a thrilling experience!


  1. This is on my Classics Club list, and I'm really looking forward to reading it.

    The only book that has taken complete control of me like this (and it was fully intended by the author) is David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it, too.

  2. Yes - I have to say that I also feel guilty sometimes for reading too fast. This was the case while reading Villette last summer. I certainly missed a lot of it and then didn't understand the hype that surrounded it at the time on many book blogs. Obviously now my pace as well as comprehension have got better because I read more but still feel guilty sometimes! Also - it's rather strange that your new post is on this novel in particular since it's been pestering my attention for the last few days. I might actually finally get to it! Regards.

  3. Howards End is the only book where I have not been in control

    There's something beautifully poetic about that line. I've no useful advice or comments - just captured by that image!

  4. I'm always a slow reader (not necessarily by choice), but am happy to hear you are enjoying Howards End. It's my favorite Forster novel and I'm planning to reread it for The Classics Club.

  5. I haven't read Howard's End, but I loved A Room with a View. I agree some authors just make you ready slowly. I usually feel that way about classics, but I recently read The Marriage Plot and felt that way. There was no rushing. I had to soak in each sentence. I think it takes a masterful author to achieve that!

  6. I'm a very slow reader, so I can't really identify with how you feel. I'm never in control. :) But you do make me want to read this book!!



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