Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the GalaxyI just finished reading "The Ultimate Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy." I was a bit stunned by the ending.  But I think that most of that stems from the fact that the last half of the book reading was a bit disjointed for me.  The first half was smooth and continuous and read in a short amount of time - similar to any book I am enjoying, I devote a lot of time towards it and it is easy to become immersed in the story. 

However, my regular reading times were being interrupted and I was being distracted into doing other things. Such that when I picked up the book again it took a few minutes to re-acquaint myself with the story line.  Sometimes I was even forced to backtrack a few pages to clue me back in on what in the world, or galaxy was going on at the moment. 

Ultimately, pondering this made me wonder if this is why some people struggle with reading altogether anyways.  Unless you have a regular reading schedule, or read through a story in short order - it can be very difficult to follow and even to enjoy.  I found that my infrequent reading spells near the end also included much, much less of outbursts of laughter. Whereas, in the beginning, I was constantly laughing out loud and drawing attention to myself. 

Some of that may have been that the first few novels were a bit more entertaining, but I think it was compounded by the fact of infrequency and not following or remembering why the characters were in places as they were.  Extending this idea to mainstream public and I can think of a few good examples.  Scriptures.  Not a lot of people have really read them cover to cover. But if you draw out the process for ever and are infrequent in your reading, I can easily see how the story loses interest and distractions come or are chosen more often. However, when you are immersed in the story, it is easy to forgo anything and just allow yourself to be carried along for a few hours as you turn page after page.

Newswire Photo (XL): Rubinstein seated on couch, readingBefore college I was an avid reader and enjoyed spending time on the couch in a different world and completely ignoring my own world and the chores I was supposed to be doing. College ended all of that and my reading time was entirely focused on my engineering textbooks.  I was afraid, I think, to crack open a book because I wasn't sure I had the discipline or the time.  I always dreamed of the days after college when I could begin consuming the literary world once more with a renewed passion finally free of the restraints, self-imposed I will admit to some degree.

However, life after college has proven to be more difficult in renewing that passion than I had anticipated. True, I work full-time and sometimes part-time and I also have a long honey-do list and a wife and baby and a new house. However, I am also starting to think that a part of my difficulty in my renewal comes because I simply have fell out of habit and practice. I still have a long list of books that I would like to read and others that I would like to re-read from my youth. 

Returning finally to the origins of this entry - I thoroughly enjoyed reading "The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." It was an incredible journey and so much fun and humor. I always laughed when Marvin the depressed robot was around. I actually saw this movie a few years ago. The movie did a good job.  The ending left me wanting though. I didn't feel quite right about it, a bit unresolved and not entirely all explained properly.  I fear some of that is due to my choppy reading at the end, too.

I finally understood so many of the jokes and different things that my good friends and other engineers would say in reference to the book. It made me smile and laugh some more. I could see why it is an engineer's favorite and loved to contemplate the mysteries of the universe and the travel and the technology.  If only I could have known of this book sooner.  This has definitely been a great birthday present.

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