I love to read. It’s one of my favorite activities.
I especially love curling up to read with the boys. It’s always fun to snuggle with the Bear and read his favorite picture books (unless he chooses a Thomas book. I’m OVER Thomas the Tank Engine).
It’s particularly fun to read with the Bug, though, because we’re reading chapter books together. We’ve read a good number, including all of the Chronicles of Narnia, some Dick King-Smith (Babe, anyone? I LOVE that book!) and a few Roald Dahl books.
It’s such a pleasure to read with him and discover stories together, or see him enjoy the books that I loved as a child.
But sometimes, reading is a chore.
With some books, I find myself doing anything EXCEPT picking them up and reading them. This invariably means that it takes me forever to get through these books.
Usually, it’s a sure-fire sign that I am not enjoying a read. And yet, I often struggle to put aside something that I have started.
I’m not sure why I have this idea that I have to finish the books I begin. It’s not like I’m reading them for a book group, a class, or for any kind of deadline.
Often, I can feel bad if I’m not enjoying a book that someone has recommended. This is especially true if it’s a recommendation from someone I particularly love or respect.
I need to remind myself that the way I feel about their recommendations does not reflect on how I feel about the person!
Also, if I’ve paid money for a book, I tell myself I really should read it. It’s a waste of money if I don’t, right?
(This is why I’m so glad we have access to such wonderful libraries…)
What Puts Me Off
It can be for any number of reasons.
If a book is boring, then I feel far less guilt about dropping it.
The worst is when I can objectively acknowledge that a book is good, but something is keeping me from thoroughly enjoying it.
It’s usually because I don’t like the protagonist or a main character. I can’t get behind their choices, or they’re just awful people.
Sometimes, it’s the author him or herself (if I’m honest, more often a him). Do you ever feel like, even when reading a work of fiction, you’re actually reading something autobiographical? This happens to me quite often, but I don’t generally mind it.
When it does bother me, is when I can tell that the author is a real jerk. This happened when I read For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway.
I know, I know! It’s a classic! A masterpiece! It’s supposed to be sublime literature! But GOOD GRIEF WHAT A CHAUVINISTIC JERK!
It took me waaaaay too long to finish that book because I cringed almost every time I picked it up.
Call me a Philistine if you will, but when reading Hemingway, I found there was simply too much of… Well, Hemingway, in his writing.
All That To Say…
I’m reading a piece of non-fiction right now, and though I wouldn’t say the author is a jerk like Hemingway, he (and the people he’s surrounded by in his story) are insufferable snobs.
He’s got a great story to tell (I think, I haven’t gotten all that far), but man, I would NOT invite him to a dinner party. I swear, he’d spend the evening lecturing us about the superiority of other cultures and would make literary and historical references, and then scorn us for not recognizing them.
No, thank you.
But I guess I’ll try and finish his book. As long as I don’t have to meet him.