I came close to completing my 50 books challenge last year but didn’t quite make it. I decided to try again this year. I’ve not posted a list here, but do have it posted elsewhere to keep track of what I have read. After finishing my most recent selection this morning and adding it to the list, I have 28 books to go to meet the goal of 50. Not too bad. I am about on track for the one-book-per-week timeframe.
I have three books that are currently “in progress” that I sincerely doubt I will ever finish, as they’ve turned out to be very boring and can’t hold my interest. One of those three is The Time Machine by H.G. Wells. I admit to not being familiar with his works, I only know he is supposed to be one of the great writers of the past and his books are supposed to be, from what I hear, “must read” material. I’ve yet to get through an entire chapter of The Time Machine in one sitting. I started reading it last year. (Making it the one exception to my “start and finish it this year” requirement for the challenge. I figure since I didn’t even finish the first chapter till this year it can count.) It isn’t particularly long. I get a page or two into reading and already my mind is wandering, I’m bored senseless and want very much to do anything but read. I feel bad, not enjoying it, given its reputation and the reputation of the author. I mean this supposed to be a classic. Surely a bookworm such as myself would love it? But not so. Tell me I am not the only one who just cannot get into this story at all, so I don’t feel so bad for disliking it so much, please. I have to wonder if many of the folks who rave about how wonderful it is have only convinced themselves it is fantastic due simply to the reputation and a feeling that they “have” to love it, but if they read it without the preconceived notions, how would they feel about it?
Maybe I shouldn’t feel so bad about it though. There are numerous other “classics” I have never been able to enjoy but HAD to read them for lit class in high school… To Kill A Mockingbird, The Grapes of Wrath, Tom Sawyer, The Crucible, My Antonia to name a few. Shame on me I know. In my defense at least where The Crucible is concerned, I could never get past the truth behind the fiction to find it enjoyable. Kind of strange since one of the books at the top of my favorites list (The Shape of Mercy by Susan Meissner) is also about the Salem witch hunt, but it was a very different tale told in a vastly different way. I can’t really pinpoint why, there was just always something about The Crucible that sparked a deeply personal, emotional response and I just couldn’t enjoy it.
I have already begun reading my next book, leaving those three “in progress” books for another time. Or not. I’ve only gotten about half way through the first chapter of the next book and so far it seems promising.
I will share my list of books at the end of the year. I don’t know why I feel compelled to leave it where it is for now, rather than sharing here as well. My intuition can be odd sometimes but I have learned no matter how silly it seems to listen to it always. Heck this morning when I emptied the kitchen trash can I didn’t take the bag to the curb for tomorrow’s pick-up just because my gut was telling me to save that chore for later and to just put the bag in the big bin on the deck for the time being. See? Silly, and surely not something that will have any important consequences to my life one way or another. But the little voice in my head was persistent, so I listened. Now as I type the kitchen trash bag remains in the deck bin till later this evening, and my 2015 finished books list remains semi-private in its current online location rather than here where pretty much everyone I know (and a ton of people I don’t know) can see it. Inconsequential perhaps, but that’s what I have been guided to do. I learned the hard way to listen to my little voice, even when it seems like it is being ridiculous.