As my excitement to re-enter the blogging world increases, my mind has been whirling with books I want to review-some that I have recently finished and others that are on my (long) “to-read” list/stack. But one topic that keeps popping up is an idea to track all the books that have “defeated” me. What do I mean by defeated? Well, I apply this term to those special books that I enter into with a determined mindset to make it through to the very last page but, for one reason or another, just cannot continue to force myself to finish. Do we all have this category of books or am I just special? Even now, a few such books, which should have a “I defeated the reader” bookmark inserted at the last endpoint, stare at me with mocking spines from various locations on my bookshelf. I console myself that if I were to list every book I have read vs. those that I failed to finish, that the numbers would be heavily slanted towards the former category. Ha! Take that Wuthering Heights!!
So, for prosperity (sounds much more important then saying “for no reason at all”), I have created a page where I will list my personal “Defeated” books and the reasons why. I would love your comments on the books I list or to see what your own personal “defeated” books might be.
Least any of you think that a “defeated” books makes this rarefied list without effort on my part, I would like to hit upon the other half of this blog post title: The 100 page rule. I’m not sure how I developed this rule or if it was something I was taught to do back in my early, voracious reading days but with every book that I pick up, I try to get past the first 100 pages. This seems like a fair number of pages to allow for the magic of the plot and characters to capture my interest and hell, with books of 700+ pages, I’ll even generously increase this rule to 200 pages. After I hit the page mark, If I still feel like I would rather be waxing my own body hair (don’t ever attempt this unless you have a penchant for self-inflicted pain) or listening to hipsters talk about their beards over continuing to read said book, then I usually call it quits with clear conscious that I gave it my best.
With the “defeated” books, this can be some of the most painful 100-200 pages of reading a person ever does. It’s a singular kind of pain to attempt to get through a book that you really, really want to read for some random reason (don’t discount the power of personal glory and edification through conquering literature or the even more potent power of “you have to read this book!” peer-pressure) only to fail miserably and then be stuck with a half-read book along with now having to question the merit of you bibliophile status and place in the universe. 😦 Or again, is this just my reaction?
To end for today, I hope you visit the “Defeated” books page. It’s short at the moment but I’ll keep adding I as remember other attempted titles. There has to be a least a dozen right?