I have never allowed myself to quit a book. I was lucky enough to never come across a book I genuinely disliked since my school days – see that I’ve used the word “genuinely” because I do enjoy criticising some titles when, deep inside, I actually like them in a way or another. Reading has always been a pleasure… until now.
Around six year ago, I’ve bought a famous piece by a famous author which tends to be liked by people with whom I share general interests with. I was ashamed to admit that I had never read it before, and finally decided it was time to do so. It’s under 200 pages, so it’s not at all intimidating, and in all honestly, I was actually looking forward to put it on my “read” list. I did not expect to loathe this book as much as I did.
I like slow paced books where the action is within the words, I love to read about people aimlessly walking in the country, and I enjoy being able to live the story – which has little or no actual plot – through a character’s mind, but this particular book seemed to be tailored to torture me. I’m in the middle of nowhere and completely alone, which is not something that bothers me as long as I have something going on. This “something” was a book about people doing nothing, holding no opinions, no personality, and the writer seemed to hate the characters as much as I did; I could picture them writing it while resting their head on their free hand and sighting loudly. I tried so hard to get into it, but I had to force myself to pick that book up day after day as I could go through twenty pages without getting distracted. It got to a point where I asked myself if it was really worth it.
I could invest my time in a better book. There are so many good books I haven’t read, and I know I won’t be able to read them all before I die, so wasting my time in something that makes me so frustrated seems pointless. At the same time, this is an authot that comes up in conversations. I feared that if I didn’t finish this piece, my opinions on the topic would be less valid. I pushed myself harder, but it got to the point that I wasn’t even paying attention to the words anymore.
After asking my father, a friend, and even a stranger (who was very helpful), I finally came to the conclusion that there’s nothing wrong about leaving it for now as long as I give it another chance in the future. Maybe the time’s not right, or maybe I’ll try again and hate it just as much, who knows! But for now, I rather move on to the next book on my list and invest my time into something I enjoy. And in regards to my opinion: It is valid. I can honestly say that I tried and explain what has caused me to give up. Quitting doesn’t make me stupid or uniformed; I have enough arguments to prove my point. Maybe it will change once I try again, but for now what I have is enough.
Have you ever gave up on a book or are you the sort of person who must finish it? And if you have, did you give it another chance?