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,