Friday, January 29, 2010

Things I've Noticed: Putting awy an unfinished book can be hard

On Tuesday I returned the novel "The Hallowed Hunt" by Lois McMaster Bujold to my local library. I was about a hundred and fifty pages in, but not really enjoying it. This was the third in a series of books that had won Locus and Hugo awards, and although it took me a while to get into the first two books in the series, I finished both quite happily.

When it comes to books I'm reading recreationally - they have about a hundred pages to grab me. If I'm not invested after a hundred pages I start having an inner battle with myself that goes someting like this:

Bookmonkey: This book just isn't working out for me, I should move onto something else.

Inner-Bookmonkey: Yes, but first you must put on the hat of failure (pictured right)- as you can't even manage to read a 378 page Fantasy novel.

Bookmonkey: HEY! I'm just saying that although I love a lot of this authors other stuff (I've even devoted a blog post to one of her characters) this book just isn't doing it for me.

Inner-Bookmonkey: Sure thing "Genre-Loving guy," Hey remember back in Junior High and High School when you could knock out a couple of Dragonlance books a week? I guess that's when were at the top of your game - I guess your glory days are long behind you now.

And so on and so forth.

Like most people, I enjoy finishing things I've started, but I think its important to remember that unless there is a big reason for reading the title (something school-related or maybe it's your book club book of the month, or it's the last book between you and having read all of the Hugos (Vernor Vinge is waiting for you Mike)), It is okay to give a title a rest and move on to something else.

Will I get back to The Hallowed Hunt? Probably - but not for a good couple of years. Should I let my inner-Bookmonkey beat myself up about it? No. Will he - a little, he's a bit of a jerk.

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