What's All This Then?

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What's All This Then?

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Silas Marner
by George Eliot

Field-Tested by Mike Sacks

in... nowhere

One of my fondest memories of summer reading took place when I was around 11 years old, between sixth and seventh grades. I didn’t read the classic novel Silas Marner that summer. I did not read it on my friend’s parents’ sailboat on the Chesapeake. I did not read it with my legs dangling into the deep end of Western County Public Pool, in Poolesville, Maryland. I did not read it in the top bunk of Cabin 52 at Camp Sea Gull, in Arapahoe, North Carolina. I didn’t read it on the way to Pittsburgh, or to Memphis, or to Virginia Beach, while sitting in the back seat of my parents’ dark-green Chevy Nova, visiting relatives.

To this day, I would still receive a C- if I had to write an essay on the metaphors and similes and themes present in Silas Marner, but with all due respect, I don’t really care. If I had to do it over again, I would still choose to experience, on my own terms and time, “familial love, rewards, punishments and humble friendships.”*

What’s the lesson here? Perhaps that life is too short to read books that one doesn’t want to read. I’d recommend this for adults, most especially.

* From the Silas Marner Wikipedia entry

Mike Sacks has written for the Believer, Esquire, GQ, the New Yorker, Radar, Salon, Time, and Vanity Fair. His work can be found at his website.

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