to read bad books. i loved the book Eat, Pray, Love by elizabeth gilbert (http://www.elizabethgilbert.com/eatpraylove.htm) and was every much looking forward to the release of her new book Committed. i waited for weeks on the library wait list for it and finally the day came! it had arrived! i picked it up right away and couldn’t wait to start reading it…but my excitement didn’t last long.
it started off just fine. she started telling the story of how she met her second husband, and it was an interesting one, but then it quickly morphed into something…else. what was it…what was it that it reminded me of? oh yes! it read like a term paper. i could actually feel the footnote anxiety from my college days as i read it.
now, when i was younger i would have read any book that i started from cover to cover, no matter what. it was a point of pride. as i’ve gotten older, however, i have realized that life really is too short to waste it on undeserving books. i have also realized that some books that are very unappealing in print become tolerable, even interesting on audio.
so, i applied the “life’s too short” theory; i returned the book to the library and waited a few more weeks for Committed on audio. it was read by the author. i’ve found i have a soft spot in my heart for authors who take the time to record their books for their readers themselves. this alone makes me predisposed to like the book. i’m glad i stuck with it, but i think that the core story would have made a good magazine article. it was really too short for a book, hence the term paper written around it, presumably to add more pages.
by the way, her book Stern Men was also much better in audiobook form. i even extrapolated the phrase “feet on you!” from the audiobook and applied it to my real life (much to my husband’s annoyance). 🙂
have any of you felt this pressure to read a book through to the end even if you thought it was awful?
2 thoughts on “life’s too short…”
I agree, life is way too short to read back books. I wouldn’t even listen to them these days. My reading time is limited, so I try to keep to what I love and will learn from.
That said, I will suffer through a bad movie if I’m feeling particularly brain dead. I just can’t do the same with books.
good point about movies; since i typically read alone but see movies with others, i will “tough it out” so as not to disappoint the person that accompanied me. seriously though; consider giving some books that stagnate on the page a chance to be performed for you on audio; some are truly transformed into worthwhile endeavors (ex: The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown).