Last week, I was asked what the best book I read in 2013 was. As I thought about it, I was saddened to realize there were not very many books to choose from.
I usually read a mix of novels and parenting books. Over the past twelve months, I’ve read very few of either of those.
So, I re-committed to myself that I would tear my eyeballs away from social media for at least ONE hour every day to read. A book. A novel. Because writers need to read to hone their craft, right?
Now, here is where another problem came jingling in on a one-horse open sleigh.
I actually DO have a book in process right now. A book I’ve been reading. Slowly.
Well, more like avoiding. With a vengeance.
The story started out slowly. That’s ok. I’ve been there, done that. Sometimes the slow starters turn into the most incredibly beautiful works of literature.
Except that hasn’t happened yet.
To be fair, I’m only on page 61 of 503 pages. Yet, I have absolutely ZERO interest in the characters. Or the plot. Or the prose. I genuinely do not give one ounce of a shit what is going to happen in this story, or how it will end.
Yet somehow, I feel guilty about abandoning this novel.
The author is not here observing. I was not contracted to review the book. In fact, not a single person will know if I simply unfold the corner of the last page I read and place the book in my bookcase of finished books.
Except me. I will know.
I’m not sure why this bothers me. Is it the money? Do I not want to lose the value of the book because I paid for it?
No. I’m not a library person (ewww – other people might have SNEEZED in those books, people!) yet if I was, I would still feel guilty about not finishing a book.
Do I feel a certain obligation to the author, as a writer myself?
I’m a new writer. I’ve never written a book. Yet, I’ve read some real stinkers from cover to cover in my past, simply because I didn’t feel right not finishing them.
So, what is the deal here?
I am worried this might be a personal challenge thing. Like not finishing a book is some sort of failure on my part. Like I’m not a REAL reader if I don’t finish every book I start.
No matter what the reason, I am at a point with this current book where I need to fish or cut book.
And I am going to do it.
I’m going to not finish this book.
I know by now you are dying to know what book it is.
Sorry – I’m not telling. Let’s face it – I could think it is a hunkajunk, and someone else (actually, many of them) could think it’s fantastic. That’s ok.
So, I’m turning a new page in my reading career. (Yeah, I know – but it was just too tempting to not use!)
I am forging ahead with a new novel. Removing the perp from my bedside table of must-reads. Relegating it to the already-read club. Sure, it will be an imposter over there.
But it’s an imposter where it is, anyway.
And I need to clear the way for me to sink my eyeballs into a great new novel again.
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