Why You Don't have to Finish Reading that BookWednesday, July 22, 2015
It's not really a secret that I love to read. After living here for 3.5 years, I am pretty sure the librarians know it's me before I even walk in the door. Possibly at every branch in town, but who's counting? *ahem* My library trips are special to me. I don't have very much (re: any) money right now. Reading has really been my primary form of entertainment in the past few years which makes the local library my very best friend. Typically, I'll waltz in those glorious sliding doors with a main goal and then... I'll go overboard and check out more books than I know I can read in a month with the utmost optimism in my heart. Sure, I am going to make time and read all of them in 4 short weeks...
This. Never. Happens. However, I've been noticing something about this pattern. I tend to pick up books willy nilly, often going for a specific title and then picking up a few other books with interesting titles or beautiful covers. It's not like I'm paying for anything and it feels joyful to be able to do something in excess guilt-free; I admit this. I've found some real gems this way and often read my way into ecstasy on a whim. The only real problem with this method is that sometimes.... sometimes I'm just not into a book. I start reading, don't care enough about the characters, and don't care about their story. I keep trekking through with hopes that there will be some sort of dessert later in the book even though I never got my meat and potatoes. Newsflash: this rarely happens. In fact, I can't think of a single time I graced my eyes on the last page of a "meh" book and thought it was worth it. Instead, I felt like I had lost something.
To make it worse, I am finding that the reason I am not getting all my books read in the designated time frame is because I am spending too much time reading books that don't pique my interest. Planned or unplanned, if it leaves the library with me, I make myself read it, even if I get halfway through and there has yet to be one quote that resonates with me or one character I truly like. I've been making myself finish at all costs. AT ALL COSTS GUYS.
For now, I'm done with that. It hinders me. I don't get to enjoy other stories that may suit my needs better because I am focused on something I'm not enjoying simply because I don't want to be a quitter. However, when you really give it a good think, shouldn't our leisure time be leisurely and not another chore forced into a daily schedule? My answer is yes. Therefore, I have a new book rule: the 30 page rule or a quarter of the book, whichever comes first. If I've dedicated an hour or so of my time to something and I'm not getting what I want from it, I'm calling quits. Yep, I'm going to be a quitter. I quit four books recently. Four! And you know what? It feel so good to leave behind something that was not the right fit. It feels good to change directions to a road with better streetlights. Reading is like the rest of our life choices: you find what fits for you and toss the rest out the window. Nothing is one size fits all, not even (blasphemy!) Harry Potter, not even the stretchy tops that are somehow always at Walgreens.
What about you? Are you a quitter? Do you enjoy finishing a book/movie/album even if it's turned out to not really be your thing? Tell me why I'm right and tell me why I'm wrong! I can't wait to hear your input on this.
P.S. It is perfectly acceptable to begin a book and realize that now is not the right time. I'm a firm believer in a time for everything. In fact, I returned The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald unread because I simply didn't have the time or mental energy to dedicate to such a meaty book. This is the exception of the rule and The Beautiful and the Damned still sits on my Goodreads to read list. One day, it will be the right moment.
P.S.S. Follow me on Goodreads!