“You're slow for someone in the fast lane.”
“And you're thin for someone who likes food.”
“I don't like food. I love it. If I don't love it, I don't swallow.”
It dawned on me that the food critic‘s answer is the same as mine—lately, if I find that I don’t like a book, I put it down, and pick up the next thing on my never-ending list of book to read. Now, “not loving,” I don’t mean, “I don’t like what’s happening.” It means if it’s begun to feel like a chore to read it. For example, if I find myself bothered by the author’s lexical choices, or not connecting at all with the characters. It means that basically, this book and I haven't "clicked." I usually hate the thought of reading being a chore.
But on the other hand, is it ok for reading to sometimes be a chore for the sake of self-betterment? As an English major in college, I certainly didn’t always enjoy the assigned reading. One professor I had even apologized for the fact that we had to read Pamela, assuring us that if we managed to trudge through it, we’d understand why it was an important work in the end, however much we wanted to quit. And he was right—in the end, I was glad I finished it… even if I’ll never get those hours of my life back. And really, can you even judge whether you like a book or not if you give up halfway through? Maybe the ending will make it all worth it. Sometimes I wonder if I’ve done myself a disservice, especially thinking back on books that I might have missed out on had I not pressed on through a tedious beginning and finished.
When you’re reading something you just haven’t clicked with, do you press on and get it done for the sake of finishing it (or giving the ending a chance to change your mind), or move onto the next book?