Quit Reading

typewriterNow before some of you scream SACRILEGE! or start coming after me, pitchforks in hand, hear me out.

I love to read. I cannot go to bed at night without cracking open a book. Even if I’m late to bed, I have only two options: stay up an extra fifteen minutes to read a few pages, or toss and turn for about an hour, then ultimately getting up for fifteen minutes to read a few pages.

If it wasn’t for reading, I don’t think I’d be pursuing my own dream of writing. Actually the writing is a reality. The dream is getting paid for it, and being adored and admired by millions for said writing.

So with all that in mind, why would I sit here and tell you about quitting on a book? After all, I”m all for reading outside of your comfort zone, trying different genres and giving new authors a shot. Keep in mind I’m talking about quitting a book that’s more than half read, not just a chapter or two in.

Simple. It’s wasting my time.

This book (which will remain unnamed) caught my attention years ago. I’ve met the author and generally like the guy. The book was highly praised, too. And since then, at least two more books in the series has been released. Then a good friend lent me a copy of it. Seemed like a good fit, so I started to read it.

In January.

For more than six months I tried to read this book and have only managed to make little more than halfway through the book. Now I’m not saying the book is bad or poorly written. It’s not you, it’s me. And yet I felt obligated to continue reading hoping to get more involved into the pages. It never happened.

Then I came along an article on lifehacker.com, talking about this very thing. Did you see the one section on quitting? I did, and it opened my eyes to closing this book. Why would I waste my time on a book that I’m getting nothing from? I’m not inspired by the writing. It’s not making me think in a new or different way. Nor were the characters anything to remember.

So it’s not me, it’s the book.

I did have a heart-sickening moment when I thought that I had lost the joy of reading. Then last night I cracked open Neil Gaiman’s latest novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, that was graciously given to me by the Amys. I was hard-put to set it down. It’s a short book, and I can already tell it won’t last the weekend.

So I ask you, do you have a book that would be better served set aside? Or have you ever done this? I’d love to hear about it.

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