Even though the stereotype is librarians are reading all the time, for me, that's the furthest from the truth. As a former English major in undergrad and now someone who surrounds themselves with books, I've honestly never found it harder to sit down and focus on a novel. With everyday responsibilities on my mind and the general exhaustion that comes with adult life, I have the hardest time being able to comb through my to-be-read pile that just keeps on growing.
There are some books, however, that are harder than others to get through these days. Particularly, those books are the ones that have been sitting on my shelves with their thick spines and thin pages and small words full of fantasy, sci-fi, and new worlds to discover. One of those books on my shelf is the classic Dune by Frank Herbert. The sheer size of the novel has always intimidated me, but after watching the films (both the old and the new), I've wanted to challenge myself to finally take this tome on.
Luckily, library resources made tackling this book finally possible for me!
To help keep my focus and make things easier on myself, I used a technique I've recommended to parents of reluctant readers in the past: audiobooks along with the book itself. There's just something about having the book read to you that helps you get lost within the story itself. And while listening, I followed along in the book to keep my mind from wandering too much.
I found this amazing version of the audiobook on the app Libby where there are different voice actors for different characters as well as sound effects and music to keep you engrossed in the narrative. Everything together really sets the tone, and another big perk is having the fantastical names and places pronounced for me so I don't get caught up on how to say everything.
So was all of this worth trudging through the 600+ page tome of that is this science fiction masterwork? I definitely think so.
I'm not only proud of myself for finally getting through this book, but I'm also surprised by how much I actually enjoyed it. I really thought that Dune would be hard to get into or that all of the lore and world building would confuse me, but it actually wasn't too difficult to follow. I honestly had a harder time understanding what all was going on in the movie than I did in the book!
Overall, this book is a solid 4/5 stars for me. The characters are well-developed and interesting, the world is absolutely incredible to read about, and there's enough tension and action to keep you turning page after page - which is exactly what you want with a book this size.
Want to check out Dune for yourself? See what our library offers below: