Lately, I’ve been bypassing my extensive TBR list all together and opting for the this-cover-looks-good method at my local bookstore when choosing the next book I want to read. The last time I tried this it worked out really well, and I ended up with a memoir that I just couldn’t put down. (For any of you into memoir, I highly suggest A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah. You can read my review of it here.)
Well, this time I should have just pulled something off my TBR shelf, because the cover method didn’t work so well. I like to fully inspect both the front and back covers. What colors and fonts were chosen? Does it have any of those little blurbs from other authors or publications raving about the content? This book happened to have one of those that read something like “You won’t be able to put this book down…” So, I made the executive decision to go with said book, and I took my shiny new find to the cashier and happily checked out.
The first couple of chapters grabbed my attention. Score. Another winner! …or so I thought. The author was going through a really hard time in her life, and I was really interested to find out how she made her way through. I noticed though, that I was having a hard time making any progress in the book. I’d read about 5 pages, and then I’d put the book down and pick up another one that I happened to be reading at the time (if you didn’t know, I have this habit of reading multiple books at once). In the middle of the book, the author lost me completely. I felt like maybe she lost herself a little bit and forgot there was an audience. I mean, I was trying to get through this rough time with her too, and it just wasn’t happening.
My husband, who takes keen notice of my reading habits, said to me one night, “You’re still reading that?”
Ugh. I was trying. I really was. That’s when it hit me. It might be time to break up with this book. It just wasn’t going to work out anymore. The emotional connection had dissipated, and I just couldn’t figure out what was holding us together anymore. But my commitment to reading a full text (and my self-diagnosed touch of OCD) wouldn’t allow me to let go. I had to read about 20 more pages. I thought that just maybe, maybe this book could come back to life and spark some new interest for me. Maybe it would come back around and catch my attention once again.
It didn’t. And here I was, wasting a little more of my valuable reading time on another 20 pages that amounted to nothing. ::sigh:: After much internal struggle, I decided enough was enough. I could be reading books that engaged my mind and my heart, but instead I was wasting time on something that just wouldn’t measure up. The “love at first cover” had faded. I took my beloved bookmark out of the middle of the book, and closed the book for good. I won’t know if the (almost) heroine made it through her trying time, but I have to be ok with that. And who know, I might just return to that book later.. when I have a little more patience.
Have you ever started a book that you just couldn’t get through? Did you try to give it the best you had? Did you feel guilty after putting the book away and moving on?
Featured photo credit flickr.com user Sara V.