New thing #2: War and Peace

Due to this being a really busy Sunday, my new thing for today is one of the smallest and easiest things on my list. Though, it’s literally the opposite of small and easy.

Today I started reading War and Peace. For those of you who aren’t familiar, this is an epic Russian war novel by Leo Tolstoy, and is known as one of the longest and most daunting books of all time. “It is the seventh longest novel ever written in a Latin or Cyrillic based alphabet.” If you say so, Wikipedia.

I have never read it. I haven’t even come close to wanting to read it, which is why I put it on my list.

As an English major and all around lover of reading/writing/poetry/and all things written word, I often feel like I don’t challenge myself enough with what I read. I am easily seduced by bestseller lists and don’t get to the classics as often as I’d like. In my mind, this book for some reason has always stood out as the hardest and most intimidating read.

I mean, dude, it’s no joke long. The version I picked up from the used book store is 1215 pages, and I only got to page 30 tonight. Who wants to bet that I’ll finish before the end of March? I wouldn’t bet on me.

Not surprisingly, I like it so far (it’s a classic for a reason, and it’s always these kinds of small fears that turn out to be the most unfounded), but it hasn’t gotten to the heavy stuff yet. I’m especially enjoying the notes in my used copy, probably left behind by some well intentioned undergrad who dropped the English class he had to read it for (I couldn’t help but notice that the notes and highlighting stop before page 50).

So here’s to challenging ourselves in our hobbies, whether it be reading, running, cooking, beer pong, whatever!