Time—as we all know—is a precious commodity, what with deadlines, family commitments, long commutes, and other things life throws one’s way. Hence, when you have an hour to kill, you want to make sure it doesn’t go to waste. This line of thinking recently prompted me to do something I’ve always tried to avoid. I gave up on a book.
The other night, having finished my round of manuscript edits for the evening, I thought I’d try and catch up on some recreational reading. I poured myself a drink, picked up a book, and crashed on the sofa. Now, this particular book is one I’ve been trying to get through since January. It’s a recent history on the Mutiny of the Bounty, a subject I’ve always found fascinating.
The book’s opening chapters were brilliant and had me hooked—but halfway through the tome, the narrative became unbelievably sluggish. The author is a good writer and a brilliant researcher, who obviously felt compelled to unload every fact she uncovered into the book. The result was an information overload of seemingly irrelevant details. It got to the point where I just couldn’t keep track of things anymore—and I consider myself a pretty sharp reader.
I officially gave up on page 264 but had been struggling since the 150-page mark (the book has 410 pages). With a massive stack of books on my bedside table, I admitted defeat and tossed the book in a pile that’s destined for the local used bookstore. In the past, I would have hated doing such a thing—but now, I don’t have time to waste on a read I find dull.
Alas, I hope the next book I sit down with meets a kinder fate.