If you are finding a book really hard to read, do you keep going? Do you think reading should be challenging? I’m not talking about whether the ideas or content should be challenging, because I absolutely believe we should read books that challenge accepted norms and make us questions ourselves. I’m talking about the kind of challenging that involves reading the first ten pages three times in a row and still having no idea what’s been said.
For me, it takes a lot, and I mean a LOT, not to finish a book – I read all three 50 Shades books people, I clearly have issues giving up. Until last week, when I gave up on the Scarlet Letter, I can’t remember the last book I didn’t finish (listen, that half-read copy of the Female Eunuch in my desk drawer doesn’t count, because I am definitely (probably) going to finish that one day). The main reason I’m not a quitter is that I get terrible FOMO about reading; I’m terrified that if I stop reading a book in the early stages, I’ll be missing out on some massive payoff that only comes if you stick with it to the end. I also worry that I’ll be forever haunted by the amazing things that happened on all of those unread pages.
I also have issues finding the point at which to stop reading; twenty pages doesn’t seem like I’ve given the book enough of a chance, but anything over fifty feels like I might as well just keep going – there must be an algorithm for this.
It’s also really hard to know which books are going to be worth the struggle. You would think you’d be safe with the classics – I mean they call them classics for a reason right, except that I stuck with The Sound and the Fury till the end, and it gave me nothing (except a ready answer when anyone asks what my least favourite book is).
Help me out people – should I feel ok about quitting books, or should I be slogging it out no matter how challenging it is? (Also, is seeing Easy A a good enough substitute for reading The Scarlet Letter?)
Categories: Book life