Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Unfinished Book

I recently came across a book (which will remain nameless) that I'm having a really hard time getting into. I think it's ultimately a question of it being fairly dense and a lot of the "story" is given as "information." (It's a novel.)

And all I can think about is all the other books on my shelves and on lists that I've made to bring to a local Minneapolis/ STP book store and how much I'd rather be reading them. It's a bit like being a teenager at a family dinner when all your friends are out at a party.

But I'm compelled to carry on. I keep telling myself that I just need to give it a little more time -- the story and characters will sink inside and I won't be able to put it down.

I hate putting a book down. It feels like an unfinished conversation and, as the mother of a toddler who is in the throes of learning how to not interrupt, I have enough of those these days.

I've added a poll to my blog (look! over there! on the right!) to both experiment with polls on blogs and to find out: is it OK for me to put this one down or do I give it another chance.


  1. I feel unable to answer your poll because it doesn't reflect my response of, "Yes, I put books down, but only in a completely tortured and self-loathing manner." One of the hardest lessons of graduate school: learning when to stop reading. Although I do admit that giving up on a novel is much harder than giving up on criticism. For moral support, however, the last novel I failed to read was _Babbitt_ by Upton Sinclair. I empower you to quit! When reading time is rare, it seems only fair that you should get to enjoy it.

  2. Heather -- love your alternate poll answer. Thanks for the empowerment. I don't think I'm a very particular person when I read -- I can honestly get absorbed in almost anything -- but I'm glad to hear that someone as literary as yourself has put down a book from time to time (even with the self loathing).