Thursday, June 28, 2012
The other night, I read a book in one sitting. I hadn't intended to finish it but once I began, I found that I really couldn't put it down. I was so drawn into the story that I raced through 300 pages in a few hours.
Since then I've read about 60 pages of another book...in about 2 days. I couldn't help but wonder why it was taking me so long to get through it. After some thought, I realized what it was.
It seems there is a direct correlation between how much I enjoy a book and how fast I read it. If I'm loving it - it's finished in a flash. If I'm not - it takes quite a bit longer to get through. I almost think it should be the other way around, don't you? If you're not enjoying something you need to get done, you do it faster so as to not have to deal with it for very long. Right?
But why should I 'deal with it' at all you might be asking. Why do I finish a book if I'm not loving it?
For as long as I can remember being a reader, I've finished just about every book I've ever started. If I get at least a chapter read, the entire book is read. It might not make any sense but it's always worked for me.
Recently, I've been wondering about this practice of mine. I've seen a lot of bloggers post about DNF books. Books that for some reason or another, they just couldn't get to the end of. I haven't always understood this. In my mind, you can't get a complete picture of a book unless you have read the entire thing. There are many books I've only felt lukewarm about until about 3/4ths of the way through. And sometimes it really is that last little bit that makes all the difference.
BUT! Should I change the way I read? I have so many books sitting on my shelf - so many that I want to read. Am I doing a disservice to them by 'wasting' my time with books that I don't love right away?
And how should this love be measured? Should I read 50 pages or 100 and then make a decision as to whether or not the book is worth the trouble of finishing? I'm not sure this would work for me at all but I'm still contemplating some type of change in my reading habits.
What I do know is this. I'm a pretty good judge of my own character. Meaning, I know what I like and what I don't. I don't buy books that I don't think I'll enjoy. I don't except books for review that I don't feel drawn to. I don't bring books into my home that I know will sit on my shelf forever unopened. Do I make mistakes sometimes? Of course. But, for the most part, every book sitting on my shelf right now, I want to read. And wanting to read it means actually reading it. Not giving it a 100 page audition.
So I ask you? How do you read?
How many books do you not finish and do you have a system in place for these 'not for you' books? Do you think it's ridiculous that I finish every book I start? Have any advice to share?
I would love to hear from you!