I don’t know at what point in my life I got the message that it is somehow sacrilegious to not finish a book that I have started reading. But because of this strong message in my mind I have books all over my house with a bookmark in it.
I must have 12 unfinished novels.
For some reason it is very difficult to just take hold of that bookmark and slide it free from the book.
Perhaps it is not the right time for the reading of that particular book.
Perhaps the interest that we initially had in the book was lost when we began reading it and it did not live up to our expectations.
Perhaps it is simply just not a very good read?
Still, it is very difficult for me to give up on a book. There’s something about quitting that runs through my mind. There are messages from my parents about following things through and not giving up on something that you have started.
Life is too short to press through a boring book.
But I’m here to tell you that life is simply too short to hold onto things that aren’t of interest. Your time is better spent moving on to other books that seize you by your emotions and carry you through page after page.
So pull out that bookmark! Set the book aside and if the timing is right later you can come back to it. But there’s no sense in beating yourself up or forcing yourself to plunder through a book that bores you to tears.
There are so many books on my bookshelf. At the rate I read, that I would never finish them all! I decided there’s nothing wrong with testing out a book for a few chapters and then deciding whether to continue.
No more plundering through boring books for me. And if you needed the permission to pull out that bookmark and move on to something else — here you are! You have my permission!
I made a decision some years ago while eating a plate of cold french fries from some fast food place somewhere, that with the caloric content of french fries there’s simply no point in eating them unless they are delicious. I decided that if the fries suck I’m going to throw them out.
There’s simply no sense in putting my body through the difficulties of processing the caloric garbage of french fries unless they’re so damn good that I just can’t help myself. So if they’re not hot and delicious they go in the garbage.
Just an analogy. No reason to burn or throw out the book that bores you. You can set it aside or donate it and free up a little space in your home. Don’t hang on, hold on, and press yourself through something that is uninteresting or simply not your thing.
Save your reading time for books that move you.
Read the books that move you, inspire you, entertain you, teach you, and give your life that ooey-gooey feeling of cuddling up with a good book. Read the books that seem to whisper your name right from the shelf. And if you just aren't feeling it, once you've started, it's ok to yank out that bookmark and move on to the next book. Sometimes it is merely a sense of timing, other times the book just isn't all that good. But reading should give you something. Otherwise, turn the page, so to speak.
It is totally okay.
Christina M Ward is an avid reader, poet, and writer from North Carolina. She is also writing a book of her own that she one day hopes doesn’t bore the masses.