Hey, just a quick mid-week update, as I’ve been busy clearing my study so that housepainters can come by tomorrow and make it the same colour as the rest of the house. Whatever that is. Some sort of cream.
Anyway, on the weekend my wife (!) and I went to Hobart for a friend’s wedding, which was fun. (And occasionally a little weird, but still fun.) I only took the one book with me, Alan Bissett’s Death of a Ladies Man, which I sadly abandoned on Saturday morning. The writing style was very interesting, but the narrative itself wasn’t anything new and it wasn’t going anywhere. I’d like to read more of Bissett’s work, but that book ain’t for me.
Which brings up an interesting question, one inspired in part by the statues and markers around Hobart concerning Antarctic expeditions. When it comes to reading, are you Roald Amundsen, someone who’ll keep going despite disaster and privation and really bad writing to reach the end of a book once you start it, whether or not you’re enjoying it, just because you can’t give up? Or are you a Douglas Mawson who turns back once someone dies and the supplies run out and the clichés just get too much to endure?
I’m a Mawson, always have been. Life’s too short and there are too many good books out there to keep enduring with bad ones, or even lacklustre ones. If a book doesn’t hook me in the first chapter or two – hell, sometimes in the first half-dozen pages – I’ll chuck it aside and move onto the next one. And I know that that means I’ve missed out on many good books that take a while to build up steam, but such is life; there are other good books that can grip me by the nutsack in minutes, and enough of them that I’m not going to run out of reading material or inappropriate groin-based metaphors any time soon.
But that’s me. What about you? Do you stick with a book until the bloody end, and if so, why? Alternatively, if you’re ready to abandon the expedition once the porters are eaten by wolves and turgid first acts, do you ever regret that?
Come on, leave comments. Comment leavers get all the loving.
(PS: I’m fully aware that I may have it completely wrong on Mawson versus Amundsen. DETAILS!)