Friday, July 08, 2005

Reading And Storytelling

A few years ago, I caught a dozen pages of Paul Coelho's The Alchemist at my cousin's while waiting for her to get ready so we could go shopping. I did not feel any wistfulness at having to leave it unfinished. This evening at B&N with J at Storytime, I picked the book again from where I had left off and in finished it. After having heard so much about this book, my disappointment was complete. I am in agreement with one reviewer at Amazon who says "The major weakness in "The Alchemist" is its fluffy, nebulous, feel good philosophy."

When one book leaves me high and dry, I pick up another from a diametrically opposite genre to make up for my loss. I am aware that the idea is lacking in logic but do it anyways. To compensate for Coelho, I pick up a tale of unbridled hedonism in a dysfunctional society - Hitomi Kanehara's Snakes and Earrings and am ready to puke by the end of page fifty. I have a long way to go before I can appreciate visceral violence as an art form.

The saving grace for my evening of wasted reading was listening to the story-teller. Miffy the Bunny made my day as much as it did for the crowd of chortling children around me. Sometimes satisfaction can be found where least expected.

The man dressed as Miffy walked up to the stage at the end of the session and the children were all over him hugging, having pictures taken. J stayed put on her seat unperturbed by all the excitement. When we got home, I asked why she didn't go give Miffy a hug. "I wanted Miffy to come hug me. I don't want to go up to hug Miffy." she declares with aplomb. Talk of entitled attitudes !

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