It’s an exciting day for Minneapolis resident Emma Pearson who, after much deliberation, has decided to briefly consider reading Jane Eyre every three or so years for the rest of her natural life.
“It feels good,” says Emma. “For a while, I thought I would have to either completely give up on ever reading Charlotte Brontë’s most important work, or, worse yet, actually read it. I’m really happy with the middle ground I’ve landed on.”
Though Emma strongly identifies as a person who reads more than most, she has found most 19th-century literature to be impenetrable. Still, the can-do young woman refuses to let this setback define her.
“It would be so easy to throw up my hands and say, ‘I am too dumb,’” says Emma. “To admit that the prevailing prose style of the mid-1800s is too restrained and ornate for me to see the characters as real or relatable people. But that’s not me. Instead, I believe I totally could read Jane Eyre, and very well may. Just not now because there’s this new novel that was just recommended to me by a magazine at my dentist’s office.”
“I’m just not one to take the easy way out,” Emma adds. “In that way, I guess I’m sort of like Jane. Jane Eyre. Or maybe not. I don’t know. I haven’t read the book.”
Emma finally came to the decision to keep considering Jane Eyre for time ad infinitum after a grueling period of trying to force an active choice.
“I asked myself all the classic questions,” says Emma. “Will reading this book expand my worldview? Is it the single work most worthy of my undivided attention? What’s the true meaning of the pressure I’m putting on myself to read Jane Eyre, and does it have anything to do with the fact that I didn’t read it in high school when it was assigned by the cool English teacher I had a huge crush on?”
“Now, I will continue to ask these questions, however only for a week every few years until I die.”
Despite Emma’s careful plan, some are skeptical of her reasoning.
“I’m pretty sure in the time Emma has debated reading Jane Eyre, she could have read both of the Brontë Sisters’ full-on oeuvres,” says Emma’s roommate, Sabrina Cave. “But if I don’t have to hear about it for another three years, I guess that works for me.”
At press time, Emma was toying with the idea of picking up a copy of Ulysses.