Do you ever read angry?
I do. More often than I'd like to admit.
Some people can cast aside a book that is not to their taste. They read 15, 50, or even 100 pages and decide this book is a waste of time. Without hesitation, they can jettison a book and never look back.
I kind of wish I was like that.
For me, I'm always worried about giving up on a book. Maybe I'll miss the truth that will speak to my soul. Maybe I'll miss the comic genius that only crops up 2/3 of the way through. Maybe I won't be able to add another book to my "Finished" list.
It's really the last one most of the time.
I am a compulsive finisher of books. I can count on two fingers the number of books I've abandoned because I like to finish what I've started.
Loving literature makes me this way. So many classic works have lulls. In Anna Karenina, there were chapters dedicated to mowing strategies. Chapters. In War and Peace, Tolstoy couldn't stop talking about Napoleon's detailed military strategy. I loved both of those books but they were hard. And I'm not willing to give up on something just because it's hard.
However, this leads to a world of frustration sometimes. I read a book last month that made me clench my jaw and grind my teeth. When I would put it down I felt my shoulders relax. This was my consistent reaction for all 380 pages. It was brutal. But I finished.
I feel like being a finisher says something about my grit, my strong will, my hope in humanity. However, I'm worried it's just making me tense and I'm wasting time and energy on books that are not meant for me.
How do you deal with books that aren't for you? Throw 'em across the room and never look back or buckle down and finish, no matter how much every word grates on your already frayed nerves?