In preparation for the films release in theaters, the book from which it is derived was made free on the Amazon Kindle e-reader. By luck, I received one of these over the holidays and thought it might be nice to read the book before seeing the movie itself. I say luck because I likely would not have considered taking on this book in printed form. You see, unbeknownst to me and my half pound device I was walking around reading a novel six times heavier.
As a matter of fact, Hugo’s epoch is not only a long book– it’s one of the longest ever written. I found it quite serendipitous that I love so much a novel that, had I not been deprived of knowledge of the book’s physicality, would have been completely lost to me. Rather than providing me access to more knowledge and information, our technological environment has stripped me of this and I have benefited from it.
As I write this, the “60 hours 32 mins left in book” is standing quite happily on the bottom of the screen , letting me know I’ve only taken a bite out of this novel in my weeks of reading– however I am not deterred as I would be with a large book whose onerous pages before me would be dreadful. I did not expect this lack of information to allow me to become more engrossed in the words free of a finite length or physical confinement, but here I am.
It’s similar, I imagine, to watching a television show versus going to a movie: In a tv show, you know when it’s going to end and as you start to approach the close of the half hour you know for sure the story will some to a conclusion. A movie however removes you from this. You’re adrift in a story with no expectation of when it shall end… plot twists are shocking and every bit of the story is equally as important. It’s an odd sort of feeling to be so engrossed in a novel that you literally don’t know where you are in its’ pages– an oddity I will continue to embrace.