Wow guys, I started and finished this book within 24 hours. No joke.
I think this happened for a couple reasons. Allow me to share them with you.
First of all, and this is the same reason I chose to read this book when I did, I have been so hungry for fiction! I had not read a fictional book in almost two years. WHAT. I used to be obsessed with fiction! Middle school I was all about the Boxcar Children and The Adventures of Mary Kate & Ashley mysteries. My high school years were punctuated with The Prydain Chronicles, Hunger Games, Lord of the Rings (still, obviously), and the Divergent series. And then something in me died when I became an adult. Just kidding! Truth be told, I didn’t really read much at all between high school and last year because I didn’t make it a priority. I still called myself a reader, but alas, I was in fact not reading.
So after reading seven non-fiction books last year and six so far this year, I decided it was high time to bring back a fictional book – a classic, no less. When Joshua and I lived in Havre de Grace we stopped by a yard sale that had a Chronicles of Narnia set for a couple bucks. I was so excited! C.S. Lewis is one of those authors that I say I adore but haven’t actually read very many books by him at all. I’ve read the first two Narnia books (close to fifteen years ago) and the first few pages of both The Screwtape Letters and Mere Christianity. But I’m starting over, and this time I’m determined to read the entire Narnia series!
After only reading non-fiction for so long, this book was like candy. A more accurate comparison for me, I suppose, would be more like this: it was like inhaling a bag of Doritos after having not eaten in days. SO GOOD. C.S. Lewis is, as we all know, a master story-teller. This first book is a glorious, descriptive, immersive beginning to the entire series. Non-fiction is important, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the books I’ve been able to read over the past year or so! But Narnia is a gift.
Another reason why I flew through this book is because of how elegantly Lewis weaves the story. Although I read The Magician’s Nephew many moons ago, I could not remember much about it at all. To be cliche, it was a page-turner! The story moves quickly and if you haven’t read it before, you will definitely be anticipatory about how it could end.
I adore Lewis’ descriptions of the creation of Narnia, the creatures there, and especially Aslan. He has a distinct writing style, and I am so excited to keep reading.
The last reason I think it was easy to fly through The Magician’s Nephew is that it is quite a small book – and this past weekend was one of the more restful weekends we’ve had in a while. I think I probably spent a total of 4.5 hours reading this book from start to finish, but I don’t often have time like that to sit down and do nothing but read.
How telling is that of culture today? Audiobooks and podcasts are becoming so popular because people can listen on the go. We don’t have to stop what we’re doing, sit down with no distractions, and do nothing but read a physical book anymore. We can pull out our phone and listen while we exercise, do housework, or run errands. Now, I’m thankful for the option of audiobooks and podcasts for “reading” and listening to news or information so I take in more knowledge. But I gain so much more when I slow down and force myself to focus on one thing: the book in front of me.
So here’s to the next book in the Narnia series, and here’s to more slowing down to enjoy the art and depth of books.