So as of late I have had to commute to work by train. Usually, I would moan about having to get out of bed earlier than normal, especially with the dark, cold mornings that we’ve been experiencing lately. However, the opportunity to read for at least an extra hour and a half a day makes catching the train totally acceptable. That and the Starbucks I can pick up as I leave the train station. (Red cup season is the best! I love my eggnog lattes.)
Today I started my commute to work with a new book. It’s a book that has been recommended to me by a friend. She adores the story so much she wrote her undergrad dissertation on it.
I have always believed that starting a new book is a magical experience. Being swept away on a new adventure with enthralling characters is one of the reasons I love reading so much, and it is those first few chapters that help a person invest themselves into the story.
Every so often, instances arise where I start a new book and I find it extremely difficult to get into the story. I won’t be able to relate to the characters or I won’t be able to concentrate on the new journey that the author is taking us on. Sadly, when this happens, I find that my mind wanders and I begin to think about real life problems. For example, I create a weekend to do list that is as long as my arm and all the jobs need completing before I return to work the following Monday. This also helps me avoid picking the book back up.
It is these occurrences that stir up sever feelings of guilt. I feel guilty towards both the person who has recommended the book to me and the author for not experiencing their adventure the way they wanted. Most often than not, I will attempt to complete the book. However, while attempting to read the new book today I came to the conclusion that I’m really going to struggle completing this story.
It has been a while since I have been in this situation. I believe the last time I felt I was unable to complete a book was during my master’s degree. I was studying James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’ and the book was placed on my bookshelf as soon as I had completed the assignment. I’m pretty sure I chose a topic to discuss that would allow me to stop reading the book three quarters of the way through. (I regret nothing; my brain shuts of completely when Joyce’s work is thrust in my direction).
Today, on my journey home from work, while I attempted to read the novel my mind drifted to me creating this post. I began to think of how guilty I feel when I cannot complete a book. So, I was wondering how many others experience the same feelings.
Do you feel guilty if you cannot totally invest yourself into a new story? Do your feelings strengthen if it has been recommended to you by a close friend who loves the story? Do you experience any other emotions if you are unable to complete a book?
I’m super intrigued!
Let me know how you feel in this situation.