For the first time this week, I found the time to sit down and listen to the latest podcast. I have to say, I’m deeply troubled.
It was with disbelief that I listened to Damien, Anne and Dionne as they unanimously agreed that it’s perfectly acceptable to abandon a book if it’s boring or uninteresting. I’ll concede that they did describe this inexplicable activity as occurring only if, after a number of pages or chapters, they’re not drawn to the story, but I’m no less stunned. In fact, I’m breaking out into a cold sweat just thinking about it.
Distressed, I raised my concerns with a friend but to my dismay she agreed wholeheartedly with Damien, Anne and Dionne. It was then that I realised I’ve yet another trait to add to my ever-growing list of quirks and eccentricities.
Throughout my entire life I’ve never—and I literally mean never—been able to start reading a book without finishing it. Obviously, I’ve come across atrocious books that are so poorly worded you’re constantly re-reading to try to understand what the author is saying. There are dull books, ridiculously far-fetched books, and then there are those that make you wish you could grab the author by the shoulders and yell, “What were you thinking?!”
And yet, I will read each and every single word.
I certainly don’t seek out a miserable reading experience. I want to be enthralled. As Jane mentioned, I want to find writing so good I forget I’m reading. However, if I’m unfortunate enough to select a piece of less-than-acceptable literature, I feel some sort of obligation to see it through.
As a result of this compulsion, I’ve read entire works that I detest, simply because I began. And although the story may not thrill me, the pleasure I derive from the actual act of reading itself has always been enough to counteract everything I’ve come across to date.
Damien, your invitation to blog with Newbie Writers! is proving itself to be a cathartic experience. Each week I’m discovering more and more weird unique things about myself. I wonder if (Ok, secretly I hope) someone, somewhere, is just as strange as me. Anyone?
Emma is a freelance editor and writer who got her start at Newbie Writers two years ago. In her previous career she was an accountant, but escaped the numbers game to envelop herself in the literary world.