Friday, November 19, 2010

Why I Cheated a Little Bit

from Bookshelf Porn
OK, my reading goal for the year is officially complete. Please, hold your applause though. I will admit to you. I cheated. Not a lot. But a little. You see I had three books left, two of which were part of a series, and I didn't read them very well.

One thing I have been working on, along with reading all these books I've been holding onto for years, is learning to walk away when a book and I just aren't meshing.Why waste my time? I have books I'd rather be reading and it's not the end of the world if I don't finish a book I don't like.

Which is why I "finished" the last three books on my shelf so quickly. I didn't actually finish them. In fact, one I didn't even open. Before you cry foul, hear me out.

I first started with volume 1 of The Oz Chronicles. Both volumes had been given to me for Christmas years ago and on my shelf they have sat, lovely green volumes that I kept lugging from one place to another. I made it through the third Oz story in the first volume and I had to stop. The stories are lively, entertaining and...about ten pages in, extremely annoying. I could see how children would adore them though. If I had kids around six or seven, these would be go-to bedtime stories. But I don't. And I won't for awhile so I think it's time to send volumes 1 and 2 off to better owners.

My last book (for this challenge - I am not counting two books that got added recently and besides, I will read both easily before the end of the year because I have been dying to read them for months) was The Rose Labyrinth by Titania Hardie. I made it exactly 20 pages into this book before I decided I wasn't interested. If I were more of a puzzle person, I think I would have been in love. The book came with sheets of clues that a reader could lay out and try to decipher. Yeah, not me. While I enjoy the Da Vinci Code et. al. I would not be the person they called to help them figure that stuff out. And this book definitely seemed to need to me more on the ball than I was prepared to be for it.

So ends my reading challenge. I did fizzle out there in the end, it's true but I feel like I learned a lot about myself and my reading habits. Plus, I learned a lot about my book buying habits as well. I need to learn to be more discerning, more critical about what I allow into my book collection. I am a big re-reader. But, if I'm not re-reading a book at least once in a while, why is that book still on my shelf? I used to keep books on my shelf because I thought they made me look smart or sophisticated or I thought certain books should be on the shelves of a former English major. Not so. I am displaying my Brontë novels proudly next to the entire Harry Potter series and have let the copy of Atlas Shrugged go to a more compatible home than mine. I've learned I need to be able to let a book go, even if I haven't finished it and just realize we weren't meant to be. And I think I am doing that more. See Exhibits A, B and C above.

Now onto the good stuff! The Heroine's Bookshelf first and then, one of my all time faves, Ms. Willig has a Christmas-themed story!

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