With just two weeks to go before the end of the TBR Triple Dog Dare (See link to special page above) Bookshop Benicia, my local independent bookstore, called to inform me that my copy of S had arrived.
S is the new book by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst. The idea behind it is that two people used an old book, Ship of Theseus, as a means of communication by writing in the margins. They’ve also stuck bits of paper, notes, maps drawn on napkins, photographs, into the pages of the book. It all adds up to one big mystery that the reader is to figure out on their own.
My copy is sitting on the dining room table until April 1.
Must remain strong.
I’ve been running the TBR Dare for four years now. The basic idea is to spend the first three months of the year cleaning house by reading only books in you TBR stack as of midnight, Dec. 31. Most people who join the TBR Dare, in fact all of the people who sent me comments about doing it, enjoy it quite a bit even if they don’t make it to the end. No one gets any pressure from me anyway–you can do the DARE for a month or a week even as far as I’m concerned. Just read one book and you can call your self a participant. (We need a cute name for those who take the TBR Dare. Like how those who love Veronica Mars are called Marshmallows. TBR Darons maybe? Triple Doggers? I’ll have to work on this for next year.)
I did open my copy of S. I couldn’t help it. It comes shrink-wrapped. I opened it and looked through all the stuff, careful not to read any of it and careful to put everything back just where I found it. Some people say the location of the inserts may make a difference as far as figuring out the mystery goes. It’s clearly going to be a very fun read.
Maybe it will encourage people to start writing marginalia again. People used to write in the margins all the time, it was actually encouraged in school and can be a very useful study tool, but over the last ten or so years, readers have turned against marginalia. This is a mistake. Marginalia was a way to connect with readers of the future and the past both. When your grandmother loaned you a book, it came with her notes. You could read the book and read what your grandmother thought about the book. You can even leave notes for your own grandchildren. There have been plenty of times when I enjoyed the marginalia more than I did the book itself. Rereading books I wrote in twenty years ago has been a very revealing exercise.
There’s loads of marginalia in S and plenty of inserts. They are not as wonderful as those in Nick Bantock’s Griffin and Sabine series. Not even close. I have heard S compared to Griffin and Sabine, but the artwork and the books construction is not up to Bantock’s wonderful series. The writing itself though, the mystery it contains….
Must remain a mystery until April 1 when the TBR Triple Dog Dare comes to an end.
Fortunately for me, April 1 falls in the middle of spring break. I now what I’ll be doing that day.