23 September 2011

Difficult Books. Satisfying or a waste of time?

I am currently reading 2 books. One I am thoroughly enjoying, and one not so much. I am, however, determined to get through it. It takes a lot for me to put a book down without finishing it, which I must admit, can get painful at times. I can count on one hand the books I've started and not finished. And not for want of trying. There are also a small number of books that I've started and am YET to finish. Those that I am going to persist with. So I guess you could say that I'm currently reading about 5 books... some are just taking longer than others!!

Two books that I never plan to even think about again (after this post, of course ;) ) are the second Bridget Jones' Diary - The Edge of Reason, and The Children's Book. I lost patience with Bridget Jones. I didn't like the first book, so really have no idea why I even picked up the second. Didn't get very far in. The Children's Book, I tried, I swear. So hard. I finally conceded that I had to give up when I had chewed my way through almost 200 pages of the 700-odd page epic (which took me a month), and realised that I had absolutely NO CLUE what I had read. Other than that there were children in it. Sigh.

Apparently the lyrical style of writing confuses my brain. I'm led to believe these types of books are easier to understand if read aloud, but that looks (and sounds) slightly odd on a crowded train.  So I - grudgingly - gave up. I find it incredibly difficult to stop reading a book, even if once I get to the end my thoughts are solely "Well there's 2 hours/days/decades of my life I'm never getting back." I suppose I feel I have to give it every chance to prove itself.

A couple that I've struggled but persisted through are 1984, and Cloudstreet. One that I've finished, and one that I've yet to - but am still planning on. 1984 took 5 tries, and about 3 years, but the sense of satisfaction I had once I closed that final page was amazing. (Note to self: must have another go at Cloudstreet...)

Why do I continue to do it to myself? Oh yeah. I (mostly) enjoy it. Give me a good book and a decent coffee and I'm set. Tim tams wouldn't go astray either. But I digress. Silence or the iPod on shuffle and you've got my perfect Saturday afternoon. I know I'm completely hooked when it takes physical violence to get my attention.

Anyway - back to the topic at hand. Hmm, maybe Friday evening isn't the best time for me to blog - I don't seem to be able to maintain a consistent stream of thought! But the topic. I am currently loving Last Summer by Kylie Ladd - a current novel exploring how the death of a friend, brother, husband, father impacts everyone, and the repercussions this loss reverberates through their lives. This novel I started 2 days ago and will have finished by the end of the weekend.

The other novel I'm reading is Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates by Tom Robbins. A book for our book club that I hadn't completed by meeting time. Oops. So far has taken up a month of my life, but I am DETERMINED to finish it. Partly as the reason we had it for book club was because it is a friends absolute favourite book. And partly because I'm intrigued. I am enjoying the story - it's definitely different to what I usually read - but I am LIVING in Struggletown with the writing. It is roundabout, lyrical, and difficult to follow. For me. Here's hoping it won't take me another month to finish!