Bookish Update – It’s Not Me, It’s You

As most of you know, I am endeavoring to read 100 books this year. So far, I’ve read 9 books. The first Seven of those were completed in January. That means, in February and half of March I read two books. I’ve been beating myself up for this, I’ve been pretty rough on myself. After all, I’m 12% behind! Time’s a-wastin, and I just kept renewing Life of Pi and The Book Thief, until I knew the library was going to yell at me (and in all probability, send the dogs after me (Little known fact: when the library is after you for late books, they always send the dogs in first, to soften you up.)).

Then I had a revelation. I don’t have to take responsibility for my own shortcomings, I can blame you! Yes, you! I said at the beginning of the year that I would let you all choose what books I should read and that I would read them. Obviously this was a horrible mistake. I don’t know what I was thinking. While you’re all fabulously interesting people with unique perspectives and complex literary palates, I am not. I like fiction that grabs me, pulls me in, and keeps me engaged. I can read the other stuff, the stuff with slow build and complex character evolution, but if I don’t care about a book there’s no way I’ll read it quickly, and this year I need books that I can read quickly.

Life of Pi was not an interesting book. It was well written, it was tight and I was attached to the main character, but the premise did nothing for me, and when you start off with “This guy lived” it kind of lets the wind out of my sails. When the “Scary moments” are past tense first person retellings that are conversational, it drains the moment of all danger and all excitement. Now it’s just a fictional biography. Sorry, but I grew up in Pern. I learned about excitement from Dragonlance. Call me lowbrow, but this foregone conclusion stuff, (and a tiger?! talk about pedestrian) just ain’t doin’ it for me.

I have to say something about The Book Thief, since I talked about Pi. Wow, I was emotionally attached to the main character in about the first three pages, and I really care about her. I want to know her story, but I don’t want to know it enough to keep reading that book for five hundred pages. I’ve added it to my list for next year, but for this point in time, this year, my passion for that type of narrative is lacking.

So, since you’ve all failed me, I’m going to go ahead and change the rules. From now on, I promise to read at least the first 100 pages of any book that has been recommended and has made The List. If the book isn’t compelling to me, I will then stop reading it, return it, and pick another book. In this manner, I will attempt to keep my commitment to read the books you like, while giving myself a chance to attach to them. I’ll also be creating an escape mechanism for myself, so that I don’t get stuck if a book isn’t everything I hoped it would be.

I’d like to reiterate that my current delay is completely your fault, and I’m doing everything I can to make up for your terrible judgement.

I remain most Sarcastically yours,

Bookish Dad

(a.k.a. David)

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8 Responses to Bookish Update – It’s Not Me, It’s You

  1. Sarah March 19, 2012 at 12:49 pm #

    I don’t even remember how far I got into Life of Pi, or how many times I picked it back up to read again. I could never get into it and it was a very frustrating time of my life because it is the only book in the history of Me that I have not read all the way through. I still cringe when I see or hear it mentioned.

    • David April 9, 2012 at 11:58 am #

      haha. I’ll tell you the ending.

  2. Kristi March 19, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    Why go all the way to 100? That’s terrible! I would say about 20 or so…
    Just read what you want 🙂 Don’t apologize for not liking something!

    • David April 9, 2012 at 11:59 am #

      I am governed by guilt.

  3. Megan March 19, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

    Hey man, I’ve got an entire section of favotires (read favorites; because favotires was too good a mistype) on my Goodreads for you.

    Although, I accept your scorn. I will recommend Perfume: The Story of a Murderer. I actually own the ACTUAL PHYSICAL book with ACTUAL pages in it… and I don’t charge late fees unless you decide to keep it, then I will yell at you.

    We can meet on a corner some night and I will discreetly hand it to you in an old paper bag. It will be filled with pages, so be careful.

    Or..then next time I see you I will hand it over.

    • David April 9, 2012 at 12:00 pm #

      I’ll take you up on that. I’m not too cool to read trees! But…is it over 500 pages? I’m reading one right now that’s awesome, and since Jonathan doesn’t go to the library I might have to buy it for him to not read.

      Anyway, I’ll definitely carry around a book called “Perfume” and read it in the cafeteria. Thanks for starting rumors about me.

      • Megan April 9, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

        Nope, it’s 255 pages.

  4. Louise Sparrow March 21, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

    LOL Good for you! And seeing some of the books on the list you’ve ended up with, wise choice!

    I love Pern and fantasy stories along those lines too, and I slow down terribly if I’m just not in the mood for what I’m reading.

    I know you’re not really looking for more suggestions and you’ve probably already read it but, Pawn of Prophesy by David Eddings (Book 1 of the Belgariad) is still my favourite epic fantasy and the only 5 book series I have ever read in 3 days!… oh and if you have a Brandon Sanderson book on that list you might want to bump it up a bit, he’s excellent.

    A word of caution too (given your new limit), if you haven’t already read one of Robert Jordan’s books and for any reason consider it… they’re great but 100 pages is just the prologue and it’s written in a different style to the rest of the book!

    I don’t claim to be reading anything of any great intellectual depth, far from it in fact since I’ve been going for easy reads (still 300-400 pages), but I’m currently on book 20, so only a few behind now.

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