Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Breaking Up With A Book

I love to read.  I mean, I really love to read.  It's pretty much my most favorite thing to do, besides eating.  I rarely read just one book at a time.  There are too many that catch my eye, and I gave up trying to read just one after another a long time ago.  I'm sure I'm not alone in this dilemma; knowing there are fellow ravenous readers out there sitting next to piles of unread books is a huge comfort to me!

I start and stop many  books.  I do give books at least 50 to 100 pages before I put them down and move on.  Sometimes I pick them back up again, and finish them weeks or months later.  I break up with other books.  No hurt feelings, they understand.  We all have our own particular type of book, and the saying "It's not you, it's me" applies to my book relationships.  It is me.  I get impatient; I lose interest, I want to read a fantasy novel instead of romance; I want to read something fun and light instead of tense and dark.  It's kinda like speed dating!  Do they meet my list of wants and needs at that moment?  Yes?  Well, sit down and stay awhile.  No?  Leave your number.  I may call sometime.  If not, there are more fish in the sea--there's someone for you.

So, I realize I have put on my "Reading Now" list many books I haven't finished.  Here's a few I've started, and stopped:

  • Laced with Magic by Barbara Bretton
  • The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
  • Recipes for  a Perfect Marriage by Morag Prunty
  • The Last Lincolns by Charles Lachman
  • Sins and Shadows by Lyn Benedict
  • The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
I don't consider these a failure; I'm merely taking a different route in my reading.  I may circle 'round and go on a second date with these titles.  We may develop a close relationship, resulting in a shout out (!) to these books so others know they're worth taking the time to read.  We all have our favorite genres and authors, and sometimes going out on a limb and reading something you wouldn't normally pick up can result in an "Aha!" moment.  Sometimes it results in an "Oh, no" moment, too.

So take it from me:  it's ok not to finish a book.  It's ok to move onto something else.  You picked it up for a reason, and that reason may be that you'll finish it when your book genes are good and ready, and not a moment sooner!


  1. When I think of the number of books that I've broken up with, I just kinda feel like a skanky book whore...I get around, but have a problem committing long term I guess! ;) (Let's just call it "fickle" because that sounds much better than "book slut.") :)

  2. Oh Amy, don't fret. As long as you didn't take their stereo and all of their new CD's, there's no need to feel like a book whore... I mean slut.