Friday, 18 October 2013

I'm bored of reading a book.

I’ve been reading this book for a month. It’s really getting on my nerves. Not the book, but the fact that I’m still reading it. In fact, it’s the second time I’ve tried reading it - the first time I got a mere 120 pages in before I got bored with the idea of reading it.

It’s Anthony Seldon’s book on Tony Blair, the niftily titled ‘Blair’, which is actually quite fascinating and intellectual, but for me it comes off the back of four books in a row that were written for 14-year-old girls and possibly made me weepy on the train, but I won't readily admit to it.

Tony Blair does not make me weepy on the train. Up until not, when I look at page 524 and realise that there are still another 239 to go. But that does include the references, so I can knock 48 off without any crisis of conscience. I find myself doing mental arithmetic that tries to figure out how many days I might feasibly have to continue trudging through this magnificent work of informative self-flagellation, wasting at least several miles and maybe a page and a half in the process.

There's a stubborn determination to make it through by this point. I can't give up, not now. It's like being on mile 22 of a marathon. And much like any pitiful attempts I've ever made at long-distance (any distance really) running, it’s slow work, reading intelligent books. You have to take things in, or remember stuff that was mentioned as many as several paragraphs ago. Like a Russian novel there are hundreds of characters to take in, as well as the mildly detestable main protagonist who grates increasingly as things wear on.

It would be preferable as fiction. It would save the frequent incredulous starings at the floor, or ceiling, or whatever’s to hand, the look that says ‘cripes, and these people were running the country?!’ It’s nicely written, I’ll give it that, but it’s been clogging up the bookshelf for too long and had to be got out of the way. More ‘Bleurgh’ than...

2 comments:

  1. The fear of getting halfway through and getting bored is why I've not read Wolf Hall or the Luminaries yet. I want to, but...

    At 200ish pages, you could get through it in ten days, I reckon, which would leave you free to read The Fault In Our Stars, which might be more your cup of tea. (And is vg.)

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  2. Good shout - read that back in July. Incredibly moving, isn't it. I think young adult books have a freedom from being impressive that lends them a little extra something. Have you read Wonder by RJ Palacio? Similarly touching.

    I was thinking at lunchtime, I don't think it's that books like the one I'm reading are that much slower to read (I mean, you do have to pay more attention), rather that you don't have the same enthusiasm to devour them...

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