I’ve notived an interesting change to my reading habits. For years, I made myself finish a book, even if it didn’t resonate with me. But sometime in the last year, I’ve just stopped making myself do it. I’ve put the book away, given the book away, returned it to the library without feeling the smallest tinge of guilt. If it doesn’t grab me, it just doesn’t grab me, and I decide it’s not for me to read. Books, afterall, are very personal. We pick them up for our desire to learn, to be entertained, to be touched or moved or motivated. I don’t remember a conscious choice I made to let myself off the hook with finishing a book. I just quit one day and turned that critical little voice in my head off about it (the one that always said, “you know, you spent money on that book, you should finish it” or “that author put a lot of time into that book, you should read it” or whatever other case the voice was making). I wonder now if my reading habits changed because I wrote and published a book, and I certainly don’t expect everyone I know to read it (now buying it is another story. Everyone I know and love should go out and buy 5 copies of Hijas Americanas. And not off E-bay. I kid; I kid). Because I know it’s not a book that will appeal to every single person in the world, perhaps, it’s made me more sensitive to the fact that I don’t have to love and want to finish every single book that I pick up. And that not finishing a book says nothing about me nor does it say something about the book. It just says not this time, not this place.
Do you make yourself finish books that you start?
When I love a book, I can’t put it down; I digest it in days. When I don’t love a book, it takes all the energy I have to make it through five pages in a day. The months that I have gone without finishing a book in the past were the months where I was wallowing in something that wasn’t a reading fit for me. On my list of things to do this year is to read 35 books. So far, I’ve finished just 10 in 6 months (little sleep in the first three months of new parenting kept me from reading since I tend to read right before bed and, instead, I was falling asleep as soon as I went to bed to prepare for the every 45 minute wake-ups). Tackling 25 books in 6 books means I have to do a great job picking what’s next. No pressure at all. But it’s not so much that I want to reach the goal as I want to come across many books that I love to read, think about and talk about later. And so here’s another question for you: what books have you just loved reading?
Finally, I grabbed appetizers with a friend the other night, and she showed me her Kindle. I never thought I could enjoy reading an electronic book, but it’s actually really cool and holds 1500 books. The Kindle, in fact, would solve my dilemma of not enough book shelves in the littlest cottage that could so now I’m thinking about it and wondering if I should save my pennies and splurge on one. Do you have a Kindle? Do you love it/ hate it/ feel indifferent to it? Has it changed the way you read?