Friday, January 8, 2010

Defeat? Or Coming to my Senses?

Could this be an admission of defeat? A confession of failure?

I suppose so it could be viewed that way – but I’m not proud or stubborn enough to battle on for the sake of making a point.
Now what on earth am I referring to?

It had been my intention to overcome the difficulties I’ve faced with finishing books by resolving to finish every book I start. That I will no longer back away and give up on a book once I’ve started it.
I have now realised the futility of such a plan. Why should a book I am not enjoying be given that kind of respect? Life is too short to waste it on bad books.

Now by “bad” I am not intending to make an overall value judgement of a book’s merits. I am merely recognising that a book is “bad” for me if the reading of it becomes a chore rather than a pleasure. After all I’m not following a compulsory required reading list. I went through that in the early 1990s when I studied for my BA.

I want to read for pleasure and for knowledge and not as a sport. It should not be an issue of endurance, or of ticking a book off a list to reach a desired target. So I have therefore decided to officially put aside Zadie Smith’s White Teeth, and I will remove it from my “currently reading” list so that I don’t feel compelled to stick with a book that I have no desire to pick up and continue.

But I WILL continue with Wuthering Heights. While I’ve struggled with this book it IS one I want to read and eventually it will make its way onto my “read” list.

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