My family knows me quite well. All the parental figures in my life sent me books for my birthday, so I can spend my first day of 32 reading nonstop, while the gloomy weather outside threatens snow. Perfect.
Viki, my mother-in-law, sent me the book S, which is a an enigma wrapped in a riddle wrapped in a story. Here's the case the book comes in:
Once removed from the case, the book looks like any book published mid- to late last century - and smells like an old and battered library book:
The story of S is Straka's story, but annotated by two people who meet through the book, by happenstance, and pass it back and forth. Opening any page reveals margin scrawls, underlining, and sketches in various colors:
And throughout the book, stuffed between various pages, lie newspaper clippings, postcards, handwritten letters, and the like:
Frankly, I'm not sure how to read this book - part of me wants to try to read Straka's book all the way through, then read it again along with the annotations and inserts. Another part of me wants to try to read everything in my first go-through, trying to keep track of both narratives and their interleavings - possibly with the help of a notebook! Or I could just flip through willy-nilly, as if I'd just picked up the book randomly in a library - and mayhap even write my own comments in the margins, joining into the conversation as if I were another character in the world of S.
Well, I'm going to just pick it up and give it a shot, reading as if it's a normal book, and paying attention to the annotations only when I feel like. Wish me luck!