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April 15, 2010

I think if I weren’t doing this reading challenge, I would have abandoned Secret Son by now.

And not because it’s not a good book. I mean, I don’t know if it’s a good book yet because I’m still only 30 pages into it. (I know, I know!!! I’m failing!!) But something about the book hasn’t hooked me yet — I’m not a fan of the sparse language, there is nothing WOWing me, the story isn’t gripping me, the main character is really dull. And, honestly, I don’t know how to pronounce any of the names of places and characters…so, I skimmed them and now I don’t know who anyone is or where anything is happening. Oops.

Plus, I’ve had a super chaotic week — just busy from start to finish, and I didn’t craft in reading time. It just didn’t happen. (What did happen, for those of you who are curious is a strange series of events this week that made me feel like I was living in the Twilight Zone. From driving my car into a barricade on my way to work, putting my son to bed with his lights on, to pulling my sweatshirt off at the gym only to realize I had actually taken off my shirt as well and was standing on the elliptical machine in just my sport’s bra. So, yeah. It’s been that kind of week.)

During weeks like this, pre-challenge, if I was reading a book and it didn’t hook me enough to give me reasons to want to read it, more often than not, I’d find that book 3 months later covered in a thin film of dust underneath my bed. 

I’ll give up on books for lots of reasons:

– Not the right time to read it (see: Book Thief — labor was not a good time)

– The story requires more brainpower than I’m willing to sacrifice

– I lost the book (see: Kafka and the books I found tucked up in my linen closet about 6 months ago — along with a half-eaten bagel and an unused diaper)

– It’s BAD. Just. Plain. Awful. Unreadable. Can’t. Do. It.

– I start reading something at the same time and THAT book grabs me — the other one gets put down indefinitely. 

When I abandon books, I don’t put them in a “Donate to Powell’s” box and give them their last rites, so to speak. I’m a book hoarder, so it’ll usually end up back on the shelf where it will sit until I try to give it another chance. Or, in the case of lost books, I’ll find it and say, “Oh yeah! I was reading this!” There are quite a number of books left unfinished on my bookshelf — maybe next year’s challenge should be to finish them! However, I think there is something liberating in not finishing a book you’ve started. Most of the time, I’m bad at that — I’ll finish the book just to finish it and not because I’ve gained anything by seeing it through to the end. I’m like that with movies too — I don’t walk out of movies, I don’t turn them off; I’ll dedicate two hours of my life to watching something truly horrible and then complain about it later.

I’m not going to abandon this book for Morocco. Reading a book and discovering it wasn’t all that great is just part of what it means to be a reader. Instead, I’m going to try to have a good weekend, accomplish some non-work related goals, and finish the book. I’m also going to make sure I don’t drive places before my windows are fully defrosted and I will hold my shirt down as I’m pulling off my sweatshirt.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 15, 2010 11:32 pm

    Oh dear it sounds awful….

    You can try Tahir Shah’s Caliph’s House instead? it had me laughing so hard and it was about him trying to build a house in Casablanca (now that you know where it is!) and a lot of hilarious incidents that happened to him and his family.

    I don’t like you to leave Morocco feeling lousy…

    Have a good weekend!

  2. April 18, 2010 12:43 pm

    I did decide to finish it! Primarily since I bought it and I indeed up being about 100 pages in on Friday night.

    But Caliph’s House sounds good too! I’ll add it to my “read after the challenge” list — that list is growing!!!

    Hope you had a good weekend. Mine was pretty low-key. And the weather is even nice! 🙂

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