I’m really trying to figure out why people say that 50shades is such a quick and easy read. It’s slow, painful, and painfully slow.
Lets talk about a quick and easy read, in my opinion. First, a quick and easy read is something that you enjoyed. Whether you enjoyed it because its simple, funny, entertaining, or off-colour, it’s not an “easy” read unless you feel like it is not work to read it.
A quick and easy read is something that you just can’t put down. Something that sucks you in so suddenly and so deeply that you surface a few hours later, unaware at first that time had continued to go on without you.
A quick and easy read is something that you don’t have to think about as you are reading. The author gives you just enough to remind you about important facts without being patronizing. Also, the author doesn’t bury you in unnecessary and confusing details.
A quick and easy read has near-seamless continuity. The reader does not have to struggle with flipping back and forth though chapters trying to resolve a confusing contradiction, or figure out a seemingly missed detail that was actually never in the story.
A quick and easy read is something that the reader doesn’t struggle with on a emotional or ethical level. Books that offend are not always a bad thing (at least when they are intentionally written to challenge thinking, opinion, or expectations) but they take some work getting through. Books that are supposed to be “fluff” but that unintentionally end up as upsetting can be particularly difficult to slog through.
A quick and easy read is also, well, quick. But that’s kind of a subjective concept. I once sat down for 10 straight hours (well, I took breaks to stretch and pee and blink) reading Shadowfever (the final book of Karen Marie Moning’s Fever Series) (don’t judge me). This book is almost 700 pages long. I read the entire thing in that 10 hour sitting. I qualify that as quick and easy.
Now, to my point: 50shades is neither quick nor easy. I’ve been working on this project for how long now? A couple of months. And I still haven’t finished reading the book.
Before any naysayers bag me about starting a project on a book before finishing it, I know how it ends. Which is to say it doesn’t. It just cliffhangs until book two because $$$. Plus if I read the whole thing through then had to re-read and try to type up plagiarism examples and responses, I would end up breaking all of my equipment in a fit of rage, but I need those things for work.
If your argument is “of course it’s taking you this long to read, you’re making notes and blogging as you go” just stop right there. Remember that paper I wrote comparing Bella in Twilight to Eve in Paradise Lost? Yeah, I re-read Paradise Lost in a weekend, making notes as I went. (And yes I had already read it at least once, but it’s Paradise Lost, literature doesn’t get much harder than that unless you count a modern scholar trying to analyze an Old English version of Beowulf. That is some hard translating right there.)
Continuing: if your argument is now that my taste in literature makes reading modern books a challenge for me, then 1) see the Shadowfever example above and 2) guess what, I was late to the Twilight party, Breaking Dawn had just released, my husband gifted me with all four books at once* on a Saturday, and around taking care of the kids, cooking, cleaning, and working on Monday and Tuesday, I was done with the lot by Tuesday night.
So spaced through 4 days I read the entire Twilight saga, but it’s taking me at least 7 weeks to read book one of the knock-off series?
Seriously, today I ranked taking out the trash over reading 50shades in my “things I would rather do” list, because reading that book is such a chore. I find myself walking away from it mid-chapter. I never do that unless there is an emergency. I guess taking a break from 50shades counts as an emergency now.
So, quick and easy read? I call bullshit.
*it was actually pretty sweet and cool how he did this. He came home from work one Saturday, said he had a surprise for me, and handed me Twilight. I thanked him, gave him a hug and a kiss, and started reading. After I was about 4 chapters in and oblivious to everything around me, he sat the other three books on the couch next to me and waited. Good one, hubby.