But after 51 days, I managed to read my way through 1,024 pages. And the next time someone asks me if I've ever read Gone With the Wind, I can say yes. Because seriously, it's a question I get asked a lot. Not really.
Remember how I was on a mission? To find out if Rhett Butler really uttered the famous line, "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn." Well mission accomplished.
It took me until page 1,022, but I stumbled upon this passage...
"Scarlett, I was never one to patiently pick up broken fragments and glue them together and tell myself that the mended whole was as good as new. What is broken is broken - and I'd rather remember it as it was at its best than mend it and see the broken pieces as long as I lived. Perhaps, if I were younger - " he sighed. "But I'm too old to believe in such sentimentalities as clean slates and starting all over. I'm too old to shoulder the burden of constant lies that go with living in polite disillusionment. I couldn't live with you and lie to you and I certainly couldn't lie to myself. I can't even lie to you now. I wish I could care what you do or where you go, but I can't."
He drew a short breath and said lightly but softly:
"My dear, I don't give a damn."
Sigh. Good stuff. Would have been cool if Margaret Mitchell had added the word "frankly," but after re-reading it and typing it out just now, I think it works without it too. Maybe even works better.
So it's done. I can now say I've read Gone with the Wind. I'm glad I finally got up the nerve to take it off the shelf, dust it off and tackle it. It was good read. Long - it was 1,024 pages, what did I expect - but good. And I'd recommend it to others who want to invest that much time into a book. Otherwise, just watch the movie - which I've never seen - and get the famous line with all the words.