Ship of Theseus (S. by Dorst & Abrams) discussion

How Are You Reading S.?

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message 1: by Rob (new)

Rob | 16 comments Mod
I have read on a number of places that the best way to read this book is to focus on the text and ignore the notes in the margins. I tried, but I just can't do it. I feel compelled to read everything on the page.

I am currently 100 pages into the book and I have not yet had a problem keeping up with the various story lines. However, I do think I probably won't remember things quite as well. I imagine I will be doing a second reading of the book, but perhaps a much quicker one.

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm at about page 200 and also feel compelled to read the notes. They do confuse the story and add things to pages that for the most part have no bearing on what you may be reading at the time. So,I've decided against the margin notes for now. It's a crazy little disjointed story.
If you want to hear J J and Doug talk about the book,there is a free podcast on iTunes containing a talk they gave in Soho NYC last week Friday. I was lucky to be there.

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

Rob wrote: "I have read on a number of places that the best way to read this book is to focus on the text and ignore the notes in the margins. I tried, but I just can't do it. I feel compelled to read everythi..."
Rob, I am reading it that way too. Reading everything on each page. It slows things down and it is confusing, but I'm getting comfortable with the ambiguity and uncertainty. I'm on page 330, so approaching the home stretch. Will definitely read it a second time to fill in some gaps in the story. I may try reading just the book the second time and then the margin notes. Not sure. Find myself thinking a lot about the book when not reading it. I feel joy when I can steal some free time to return to the story and see how S., Jen and Eric are doing. It is quite simply the most amazing, fun reading experience I've had in a long time. Perhaps ever.

message 4: by Rob (new)

Rob | 16 comments Mod
Thanks for the comments, Larry and Alexandra. It certainly is a challenge. But I do love the fact that the authors are not telling us how to read it. I'll be curious how it all ends!

message 5: by Sandy (new)

Sandy (sandy_s) | 6 comments I'm reading the chapter first and then the notes... I can't keep them all straight reading everything together. Reading the book all at once without the notes would be very hard, too.

I don't think there's a wrong way to read it!

message 6: by Jennette (new)

Jennette | 2 comments I started off reading everything and just got way too confused. Now, I am half way through the first chapter and I occasionally read the side notes.

Maybe once I finish each chapter - I'll go back and read the notes.

message 7: by Mary (new)

Mary Kay | 3 comments I am working up the courage to break the seal on the book! Thanks, Jen, for the gift. I plan on starting it this evening!

message 8: by Rob (new)

Rob | 16 comments Mod
Sandy - I agree! It's exciting that we have more than one way to read a book.

Jeanette - Yes, I've seen that some people take one chapter at a time and do multiple passes with each one. That is an interesting approach.

Mary - Jump on in! Start with the title page and you will do just fine. Enjoy!

message 9: by Lynda (new)

Lynda Hi fellow readers. Just started to read this gem. Haven't looked forward to reading a book so much! The premise is definitely exciting.

message 10: by Mary (new)

Mary Kay | 3 comments This book is an "experience". Since the book was a gift I didn't know what to expect. Once I figured out it wasn't a used library book, just the printing amazed me, and how someone came up with the idea itself. Then the problem of how to read it. Curiosity pulls me to the margins! But, I have just finished Chapter One and now the plan is to discipline myself and read each chapter, then go back and read the margins before proceeding.

message 11: by Megan (new)

Megan Warren | 2 comments I received this book for Christmas and I have to admit I'm trying to work out how to read it. I seem to be focusing on the notes rather than the actual story.

message 12: by Kyle (new)

Kyle (ksullyb) | 2 comments I just got the book. Can't believe how emmersed I am already. I'm reading the main text and moving to the margins when the story naturally breaks or at the end of a chapter.

message 13: by Megan (new)

Megan Warren | 2 comments I think it is going to take more than one read!

message 14: by Kyle (new)

Kyle (ksullyb) | 2 comments Megan wrote: "I think it is going to take more than one read!"

I realized that almost immediately. Jen and Eric will reference the last chapter on the first few pages.

message 15: by Faith (new)

Faith Hurst-Bilinski (faith_hurstbilinski) | 2 comments I am reading it exactly the same way and having no trouble with keeping up. I'm one who likes to read things that don't always make sense and then enjoying it click into place later. It's much more of a mystery that way and I love a mystery. I keep reading that there is only one way to read it and I'm a little annoyed. Who should tell anyone else how to read? You read it your way and I'll enjoy mine. I read an interview with the author who expressed the exact same idea, everyone find their own way. I find myself flipping back occasionally and it is part of the fun.

message 16: by Jenmartini (new)

Jenmartini | 2 comments I'm so torn! I began reading everything, as if I found this book on a park bench and am the nosey person that I am. :) I found, though, that I was getting distracted from the novel. So I read the rest of chapter 1, novel only. Now I'm trying to decide: go back and read the rest of the notes for ch 1 or carry on novel only. Arg! What a dilemma. Haha what a problem to have-how to go about experiencing the most interesting book I've ever come across. :) I'm pretty convinced its great either way.

message 17: by Calvin (new)

Calvin Norway | 1 comments Here's my methodology....thought it takes some discipline:
Read the entire chapter, and light pencil notes.
Go back and read the black/blue notes in the margins and any referenced inserts.
Rinse and repeat until you finish the book the first time.
Go back to the beginning, go through, and read the orange/green notes and any referenced inserts.
Go back to the beginning, go through, and read the purple/red notes (and, if there are any, the referenced inserts...I think those might all be covered in the first two sets of notes, though).
Go back to the begining and read all the black/black ink notes.

This seems to keep things relatively chronological, in terms of the Jen/Eric story.

message 18: by Clarissa Emiria (new)

Clarissa Emiria (rizzmeria) | 4 comments I just got my copy five days ago, and I plan on reading it the way Calvin suggested two weeks ago... I am OCD enough that I want the chronological order of both the stories, but at the same time I have the attention span of a sive, and am therefore VERY easily distracted, so we will have to see how I do... xD

message 19: by Lara Lopez (new)

Lara Lopez | 2 comments I finished reading it today! At first I tried to read the novel first, but I couldn't help myself whenever I saw something underlined... so I read it all! Didn't feel like I had any problem getting the chronology, as some people say. Guess it is just a personal matter? What I did notice is that I looked SO forward to finding new footnotes and getting to know more and more about Eric and Jen that I didn't pay the attention that the novel deserved. I'll try reading it alone some time, and then I'll read it with the footnotes again. Geeeeeeez, it is such an interesting book, and you can read it in so many ways! It is one of the best books ever!

message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi all!

I am new to the discussion as only started reading S today, so far I have only read the forward and a few pages into the first chapter.

The forward I read a page then read the annotations in the margin. The Chapters after trying this method, I think I will read the main body of the chapter first and any pull-outs it refers to, then go back and read the annotations. I can't wait for bed time to carry on reading it, the forward had be lost, so much so that when my phone notified me of a text message i jumped about 3 ft in the air!!

message 21: by Rob (new)

Rob | 16 comments Mod
There is certainly a creep factor! It's like nothing I've read before.

message 22: by Michael (last edited Aug 19, 2015 08:10AM) (new)

Michael | 1 comments I'm just now 70 pages in and also struggled with how to read it. I was going to read the story, then go back and read the notes -- however, after the first chapter or so, I decided that while there is probably no right or wrong way to read it, the way I've decided on is to read everything as I go, as if now I've found the book and am oblivious as to what all this is -- which would be the case. I think the fact that we come upon the various colored notes which represent different chronologies lends all the more mystery and dread as we get deeper and deeper. Not to say it's easy going, but the experience has been great so far.

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