Yesterday, I gave myself permission to set aside the book I had been reading for my reading group. I wasn’t enjoying it much at all, and after hearing comments from a few others in the group who were feeling the same way, I decided to put it down.
When I was younger I forced myself to finish all books that I started. Not so any more. I’ve decided that there are just too many good books, and likely not enough time for me to read all that I will want to. My time is precious at this stage of life and I want to spend it the best way I can.
Yesterday, in anticipation of possible power outages due to an incoming winter storm, I download three books to my Sony eReader. They were The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb, A Mercy by Toni Morrison, and The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski. A December feast!
I have two questions for you today. Do you finish every book you start? What are you reading (or anticipating reading) right now?
Sad to say, I do not finish every book I start. Like you, if I am not really ‘in’ to the book, I will put it down and eventually back on my bookshelf. Right now I am reading “A Cup of Comfort for Writers.” So far (I’m only on the 3rd story) I am loving it. Enjoy your new downloads.
I finish about 99% of the books I start, hoping (since someone somewhere published them) that they'll get better. I heart Wally Lamb! Just started Angels & Demons (is that the name?), and finished Black and Blue and Secret Life of Bees.
Just this morning I decided to put down a book that I had read 7/8ths of the way through. I used to read everything cover to cover, but in the last ten years I’ve learned it’s okay to let things go.
Right now I’m reading The Dance of the Dissident Daughter and Bryson’s Dictionary of Troublesome Words. (Yes, I am a nerd. I like to read reference type books once in a while).
No, I don’t finish every book. I start with an intent to be engaged by the writing/story, and if I’m not engaged, well, I put the book down. I’m currently reading Amy MacKinnon’s Tethered, and next on the list is Nothing Is Quite Forgotten In Brooklyn by Alice Mattison.
I have a whole stack of books that I have read part of but have not finished. Sometimes I go back to them and sometimes not. I feel like that is okay.
Yes, I once had that compulsion to finish every book, and did mos of them but I have come to your side. If it isn’t thrilling me I will put it aside. Right now I am reading ‘Fast Food Nation’ ny Eric Schlosser, well written, will make you question the fast food industry and mad at business in general. Well written but I have skipped a few dry sections. Looking forward to knocking this one off and reading ‘Man Meets Dog’ bu Konrad Lorenz, a perfect condition $1 find at the used bookstore!
Ahhh, what a relief to hear you all say this. I’ve been feeling so guilty for not having finished the book I was hoping to review for SCN. It sounded so promising (The Taste of Place, by Amy Trubek) but reads like a dissertation. I take a break, read something else, go back and read a few more pages, then am ready for a break again! I have a huge stack I’m itching to get on with: Barbara Kingsolver’s High Tide in Tucson, Sharon Astyk’s Depletion and Abundance, the rest of Susan Alberts Beatrix Potter series, the rest of Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series…
I just forced myself to read a book of over 400 words. I kept hoping it would get better and it just got worse! I won’t do it again! Reading has been my pleasure and escape. If the book doesn’t grab me right at the beginning, it goes to the donation pile in hopes someone else will enjoy. And then I’m off to read something new and exciting!
I used to, always. But of late I’m like you, allowing myself to call it quits if it just isn’t floating my boat.