Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Readers Never Quit

Or do they? Roger Sutton asks the question: do you ever give up on books? When you put an effort into reading a book, it can feel like a waste to put it down. Or moreso, it can feel like an obligation. We're so used to having to read books for school, we think of reading as a chore to get through, rather than a pleasure. If a book isn't pleasing you, why make yourself finish it.

I think I'm a lot like Roger, who says:

"Some people can't stand to not finish a book, which has never been my problem. But I notice I am now more likely to . . . drift away from a book that's giving me problems, pretending I'll get back to it someday."

That can even happen with books I'm enjoying. It's easy to pick up four books at a time and flip around between them and forget one in the middle. But I've also recently come to the conclusion that I don't need to finish everything. If I'm not enjoying it, why read it? I'd change the channel for a lame TV show and stop eating a bad cookie. Why do we feel the need to slog through a book? The more you guilt yourself over reading, the less you'll want to do it. Just read what you want, when you want, and it'll be a pleasurable event.