Recently I had a failure. I did not finish a book. This rarely happens to me as usually my curiosity lasts long enough to get myself to the end of a story so I at least know what happens. This time I just could not do it. It left me feeling pretty disappointed with myself.
I tried. I tried really hard. I read 157 pages, which was over half of the book but in the end I just could not do it. What tipped the scales was the fact that it was a Friday night. A prime Friday night for reading: despite it being the middle of summer it was a night cool enough for ugg boots and tea with rain pouring down. The thought of wasting my evening on reading a book that I was just that into was not at all appealing.
That’s when it came to me: Life is too short to waste time reading books that you don’t enjoy. There is no shame in giving up and saying that this book is just not for me. I gave it a good go, I read over half of it and this particular book was not doing it for me. I am all for reading books outside of your usual genre, trying something different can lead you to amazing discoveries. The 15 books I have read so far this year I like to think encompass a range of different classifications such as historical fiction (All The Light We Cannot See and The Girl With A Pearl Earring), young adult novels (Red Queen and Warm Bodies), classics (Jane Eyre and Lord of The Flies), Australian novels (Cloudstreet and Smokey Joe’s Cafe) and many more. I enjoy reading a range of books as I feel they each give me something different: a laugh, a life lesson, a new perspective. The possibilities are endless and sometimes reading a range of books opens you up to this. My advice is carpe diem. Seize the day. Read what you want. Don’t finish it if you don’t like it. Your life is your own.
By the way, I mean this all with no disrespect to the novel in question: Solar by Ian McEwin. I mean, I loved Atonement. I thought it was an enchanting novel showing that love will find a way. I also would be open to trying more of his novels as he has written quite a few. Solar was just not for me. The references to physics went over my head as I have never really been into heavy science (I studied Psychology for goodness sake). I also found the main character deplorable with no redeeming qualities. I am a character person and a lot of my love for books go hand in hand with a pathos for the characters inside the pages and I really struggle with people who are not kind to their characters (George RR Martin, I’m looking at you) so I found it hard to form an attachment to the book. This book had some great reviews and I can imagine some people loving it and appreciating the satire in the story, but unfortunately I was not one of them.
I’m one of those people who dislikes labelling books as “bad”. I feel like a book is a part of someone’s soul: someone’s thoughts and ideas and who am I to judge that? Someone, somewhere will have an appreciation those words, even if it may only be the person who wrote them (I mean, isn’t that what I’m doing here?). It is all opinion. Everyone has their own. Everyone has a different one. We are all entitled to them, but we should also be mindful of other peoples.
P.S. The aforementioned Friday night I spent the night blissfully reading At The Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen and absolutely adored it. But that story is for another post 😉