Monday, March 26, 2012

Reading "The Hunger Games"

I started "The Hunger Games" on Thursday, just a few hours before the movie opened at midnight. The timing was accidental, kind of. The book was published in 2008, but it was only recently that I got sick and tired of hearing references to the books that I couldn't understand. So I finally reserved the book at the library, and a couple of weeks later it finally arrived at the Fort Hamilton branch. I picked it up after work Thursday.

I finished it Saturday morning. Now I have two regrets: (1) that I waited so long to read it in the first place and (2) that I hesitated to reserve the second and third books in the trilogy before I had received the first. As I write this Sunday evening, I'm 290 on the list for "Catching Fire" and 303 for "Mockingjay." Luckily the library has more than a hundred copies of each, so it shouldn't be too long before I receive them.

I'm proud of the variety of books I read, so I'm not ashamed to admit that I like a good Young Adult book now and again. In fact, I just read "Ender's Game" -- another YA dystopian book -- earlier this month, and I wasn't introduced to Harry Potter until college. It also makes me wonder: When did YA as a genre begin? Would at least some of the books and authors we consider classics today (such as my own favorite, Jane Austen) have been in the "young adult" category, had it existed 200 years ago?

My newfound fondness of "The Hunger Games" is also yet another lesson that I should pay more attention to new, popular books. It's a lesson that started with Harry Potter, when I read the first book some two or three years after it was published, and continued with Stieg Larsson's Millennium series (I read "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" last year, three years after its English publication, and "The Girl Who Played with Fire" in January. Only the third book in the trilogy to go!) Obviously it's a lesson I need to learn over and over again.

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