Thursday, June 6, 2013

Portability: On Finishing


A long time ago, it was my habit that if I started a book, I finished it, no matter how horrible the writing, how eye-rollingly stupid the plot points, or how vacuous the characters.

Eventually, though, I understood that I wouldn't be living forever, and I wasn't getting any younger, so I changed my strategy wherein I'd try to give a book 100 pages (sometimes only 50 if it's really bad), but if the author didn't deliver by then, I tossed it. What a relief.

And so about my my dwindling cache of classic sci-fi paperbacks ..... I've now re-read all the ones I have an interest in re-re-(and sometimes re-re-re) reading, and it has now become a chore to go through those that remain. Guess what? I don't have to finish this self-assigned task! There's no particular nobility in it, no character-building involved, no Gipper that I need to do one for.


I deem myself finished.

In a few days, I'll be taking the last little pile of paperbacks to the library's paperback exchange.

Not re-re-re-re-read worthy.

When I leave New Mexico in October, my car will have one less cardboard box of stuff than what I arrived with.

My worldly goods in September 2012. The cardboard box of books must still be in the car.

I feel lighter.


Mary said...

I too have a 100-page trial period for books -- but honestly sometimes don't even make it that far. :) Life IS short, and if I did make the mistake to try and read Clive Cussler, best I remedy that as soon as possible and waste no more precious moments.

Excited to read more about your upcoming move!

Mzuri said...

I'm sure I've had the unhappy misfortune of reading Mr. Cussler, but I could find no scathing review to support that, so thanks for the heads-up. For a time, mostly what I read was what passed through my hands by happenstance, so I read a lot of trash. One day, I decided to be more intentional about my reading, so I trolled book reviews and best-of-year lists from NPR, New York Times, and other sources to create my own reading list, then checked that against my local library's inventory. Worked well for me. (Some standout nonfiction results include the "Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition," "The Warmth of Other Suns," and "The Sisters of the Sinai: How Two Lady Adventurers Discovered the Hidden Gospels.") How do you find your reading material?