greetings from tuscany, where i have just relocated for the next few months.
i mentioned earlier that some folk seem to find virtue in all-nighters, and like to brag about them. i've done it myself. another thing that people do this with is in simply being busy. i've done this myself as well. you've heard it before: someone will talk a lot about how much they have going on, with an air about them that communicates that they somehow see the whole thing as good. in reality they probably aren't as busy as they say, really, or understand that there isn't virtue in being entirely over-committed. so, it is with this as background that i mention that i had my first sunday completely off in awhile. by completely off i mean no work and no going about errands of any kind. barely leaving the house.
i read a lot in that situation. when i have free ones--and i try to have them as often as possible--i like to read on my sundays. i jump between a couple of books and subjects. this sunday i read maybe a quarter or so of stephen king's the drawing of the three from the dark tower series. rather, i re-read it. when the first book came out in trade paperback with that lovely (but butchered) whelan cover i picked it up. i was in high school at the time and it was definitely a surreal read, quite unlike most of what i'd read up to that point. i think it was also my first king novel, and though i've read a couple of short stories of his since then, and his fantasy novel "eyes of the dragon," to this day i have not read any of king's usual horror fare. strange, that. well, i did listen to one on tape once, but that doesn't count.
i read the drawing of the three in high school as well. i don't recall--the first book may have been reissued in trade with the release of the second. while i have vivid memories of the first book, i have less vivid ones of the second. i recall the characters primarily, and certain scenes. when i read the third book upon its release i was in college and read it between classes on long school days. being usually tired during that period, my mind crammed full of art history and other required subjects, i have only the most vague memories of it. the 4th book i read shortly after getting married in '98 and remember reasonably well, being most recent.
the problem was that the gap of time between the release of the books was so great that my memory of the whole plot was eroding. i really liked the series, though, so i decided i'd put off reading the later books until the series was finished. now that it's finished, i've begun reading the entire series anew. there is quite a lot i must've missed as a teenager reading these first two books that i'm now really enjoying. but it is a shame how my memory--excellent for events and places--treats books. there are books i really enjoyed that years later i could tell you nearly nothing about whatsoever. i know that some things or others from them have burrowed deep in my mind and helped me grow, but as for the more surface details, they must get buried under countless subsequent things i read, and other experiences. re-reading reawakened some memories that were definitely there but buried. other scenes were completely gone from my memory and so is like reading for the first time.