Some Books Are Not Written To Be Read

I was thrilled when my copy of Jaan Puhvel’s Comparative Mythology showed up on my doorstep. It was a busy week for all package deliverers driving down my block. Puhvel’s book arrived, as did J.P. Mallory’s In Search of the Indo-Europeans (a title my husband was interested in), Kevan Manwaring’s The Bardic Handbook, and ADF Senior Priest, Rev. Michael Dangler’s companion to the ADF Dedicant Path Through the Wheel of the Year, A Journal of Things Done.

Like I said, busy week.

I’ve shelved The Bardic Handbook for now – one new learning system at a time, please. I anticipate bringing it out if I should encounter any creative dry spells. Rev. Dangler’s Journal was a terrific purchase. It’s a must have for anyone who ever excelled at workbook-style learning (a little structure and guidance can go a long way). I put it straight to use.

Now, the Puhvel book. Let me tell you about the Puhvel book.

This is not a book to read. This is a book to reference. All it took was the Introduction and about three pages of the first section to figure this out.

No disrespect to Puhvel. He’s smart. Uber smart. And I’m sure that there’s plenty of valuable information in this book. I just think my brain might break into a billion bits if I try to read it cover to cover. And I don’t really think he wrote it for me to read. I think he wrote it for academia, and I don’t know if he means for them to read it either. It’s a good text, but not really a good read.

I think I’m going reach across the bed and steal my husband’s copy of In Search of the Indo-Europeans. I’ll let him take a stab at the impenetrable tome.


4 responses to “Some Books Are Not Written To Be Read”

  1. TeoBishop Avatar

    Libraries are great resources, Arlen. I think my local one will send for titles that they don't have in stock – you may see if yours will do the same. That way, you could get the books off the Recommended Reading List that they don't currently have.

    I'll be interested to see what you have to share about Scottish Folklore. I must admit, my knowledge of Scottish myth is limited.

    And Arlen, if you'd like to take a stab at "Comparative Mythology" I'd be happy to lend it to you. I won't be reading it any time soon, and you may have a better time with it. We can consider it to be an ADF book exchange! Let me know if you're interested.

  2. Arlen Avatar

    I'm only able to work on books I can get out of the library for the next couple of months so I'm working on some Scottish Folklore right now but have a few others on hold.

    I kinda like educational tomes because I like to go back to them once a year or so and see how much more I've learned and understand.

  3. TeoBishop Avatar

    Ah…. I'm glad I'm not the only one.

    I have a feeling I'll reach into the text now and again, but I don't think it's the right book to start out with on the DP. Daunting. A History of Pagan Europe looked like a better read — I'll be eager to see how you take to it.

    Thanks for the comment!

  4. greywren Avatar

    You are so right about Comparative Mythology. My fiance bought it for me as a Christmas gift, and I’ve been slogging through it since then. Never have I met a book that made me feel so unintelligent. I’m learning from it, but between you and me, I have to keep my laptop with the browser directed to Wikipedia handy while I’m reading. Today I caved and ordered A History of Pagan Europe.

    Good luck to you!! –K