12 November 2009

BTT for 11/12

Have i answered something like this? or was i discussing it with B?

Suggested by JM:
“Life is too short to read bad books.” I’d always heard that, but I still read books through until the end no matter how bad they were because I had this sense of obligation.
That is, until this week when I tried (really tried) to read a book that is utterly boring and unrealistic. I had to stop reading.
Do you read everything all the way through or do you feel life really is too short to read bad books?


I am one who will stop reading a book if i don't feel like it. I've got about a half-dozen books, like Stranger in a Strange Land and The Historian, that i've read some of yet i just haven't finished them. I just have so many others that i'd rather read if i'm disinterested. I just took The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo back to the library as i just didn't feel like finishing it yet. So i will stop in the middle of reading a book.

There are exceptions though. It took me 3 tries to read On The Road by Kerouac and I had to finish it on audio. The only reason i kept trying was because it was a classic, on the 1001 list and other "best books" list. I kept expecting something to somehow get better, that i must be missing something and that if i kept up i'd "get" it. Even when i decided it wasn't going to improve, I felt like i had to get through it, just to mark it off my list. The other exception would be if someone gives me a book to read, either as a recommendation or a present, i'm going to really try to read it, and finish it, even if i have to go back and tell the person it wasn't necessarily one i liked.

how about you?

2 comments:

  1. I do feel like life is just too short to read bad books...'bad' being defined not as 'worthless', but as 'i'm just not into this right now and may never be'. I don't feel obligated to press on unless I have some specific commitment to the book because it was a gift or I promised a review. Even then sometimes I cannot press on. Reading is and always should be a pleasure (unless one is in school or has work reading) and forcing oneself to do something that should be pleasurable just seems wrong.

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  2. I generally stop reading if I don't like the book. The only exception was the His Dark Materials trilogy - I wanted to give up after the second chapter of the first book - but I plowed through so I could at least say I read it when confronting people (I was surprised at the amount of vitriol coming from my own religion towards it - vitriol I think is completely unwarrented). Which was a pity, because I enjoyed the movie The Golden Compass - which should have included the final scene from the book.

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