Writing

In Defense of Not Finishing Some Books.

I decided to stop reading Memoirs of a Geisha about halfway through.

I’m sure there are many book snobs out there looking down their noses at me for that statement, but frankly I don’t care about what anybody thinks anymore. I’d been struggling with it since the beginning of January and only managed to get to the halfway through. This alone tells me that I need to find Another Book.

A few years ago, this would have been another matter. I would have suffered through it and suffered through it until I managed to get to the end (possibly after several months). But now that I’m older, I’ve become more logical about these sorts of things. I’ve realized that it’s okay not to want to read books that everyone else thinks is on the list of Cultured People. And if I do try to read some of these books and I find that it’s not my thing, it’s okay to drop it in favor of more interesting books. Life’s too short to read books that don’t move me, serenade me, make me cry, make me think.

There is a reason why there are millions of kinds of books out there in the world; there are millions of kinds of people with different interests, life experiences, and personalities. We are all attracted to different ideas, thoughts, and topics, so to say that we all need to read the same books all the time is horrendous to me. I don’t like erotic novels, and yet there’s hundreds of people who find it God’s greatest creation. I can’t judge them on that.

Sometimes the Great Books of Literature coincide with my interests, but that’s the way it should be. Some things I enjoy, others I do not.

This is the same thing with movies based on books. I used to make myself read the book before seeing the movie and it ended up making me resentful because I only wanted to sit and enjoy a movie without having to run a literary marathon before reaching the finish line. Again, there are some movies where I’d rather just watch the movie and enjoy it and never have to read the book and other times I’d rather read the book first.

There’s no wrong way to enjoy entertainment. If you’re being a Snob about it, then maybe you’re just covering up your own insecurities, whatever that might be. Just let the rest of us enjoy things in our own way.

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6 thoughts on “In Defense of Not Finishing Some Books.”

  1. I so get it! I gave up on Middlemarch halfway through the first chapter, then gritted my teeth, tried again ‘because it’s a classic’, hated it more, and ended up not only closing the book but also banishing it from my house. THAT felt good 😉

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