Putting Books Down
If you've ever visited my house, you know I love books. It's almost an addiction for me. I love books. Sci-fi, history, physics, horror...it doesn't matter. So long as the book is good, I'll buy it (although I've noticed that the older I get, the pickier I'm getting). Anyway, I've made it a point in my life to read a book to the end, even if it's not that good, because I think there has to be some redeeming value to the book - maybe it's at the end. But over the last year I've discovered that it's just not worth the effort to go through a book that, frankly, is just not going anywhere.
A while ago I put down "Gravity's Shadow." It was historically interesting, but extremely laborious, and I just wasn't interested after months of reading a page or two every so often. I finally put it away, unfinished, but it felt like a weight off my shoulder. For a while I've been trying to plod my way through "Le Ton Beau De Marot" by Douglas Hofstadter. I got through 200 pages, and I was completely bored. But it was really hard to give up on the book because I loved "Godel, Escher, Bach" and "Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies". Hofstadter is a great writer, but "Le Ton" was a mess. So I made another exception to my rule and put that one away last night.
I've realized that there's a limit of tolerance for my book reading experience. It's not that I need to be sucked in from page one, but it has to keep me interested, no matter what the material is about. I'm making up for lost time by starting "The Life of Pi" - I'm already a third of the way done. I'll post a review when I'm finished.
* Posted at 10.08.2005 10:33:09 AM CST | Link *