For years and years, Tim and I have given each other books as gifts. Birthdays, mostly, as I recall but sometimes Christmas too. I know I always looked forward to getting a book from Tim, and it was just as important to pick out a good one. It was a really cool thing.
And for years and years, Tim never read any of the books I gave him, and I never read any of the books he gave me. It became something of a running joke.
And that's the extent of my history with One Hundred Years of Solitude. I hadn't read it when I bought it for Tim, and my memory is of picking up a copy for myself shortly before Oprah picked it for her book club. Or just after, when I could still get a copy without the big "O" sticker on the cover. I could be wrong though. I may be confusing my copy of One Hundred Years of Solitude with my copy of The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter.
I'm also fully expecting Tim to say, "You chump. You didn't buy One Hundred Years of Solitude for me. I bought it for you. And you still haven't read it."
But that all changes now! Tentatively, I think would should plan to each read a little before August 3, since that will allow us to break the book into segments of about 100 pages per week for the rest of August. I'm going to set a page number for each week, based on my 1998 Harper Perennial Classics edition of the Gregory Rabassa translation. I propose as a ground rule that no one should comment on events beyond the assigned page numbers, since some of us are reading for the first time.
August 3: p. 40
August 10: p. 153
August 17: p. 239
August 24: p. 337
August 31: End! (p. 448)
All right fellow contributors—what's your history with this book? First-timer? Favorite novel of all time? When did you read it for the first time, or what are you expecting if this is your first time though?
On the whole, I'm expecting each of us to write our own posts on the book, and let conversation flow in the comments. If you want to talk about something in someone's post comment away! If you want to change the subject or have something else you want to say, go ahead and write a new post. And of course, if you're stumbling across this conversation, please do comment. We're all really smart people, and should be able to handle a little argument, but please keep the ground rules in mind. Finally, this is my blog, so I reserve the right to delete any uncivil comments.