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I am definitely getting less patient as I get older.

I used to think that if I started a book that I had to finish it.  I thought that if the author had spent so much time and energy writing the novel and getting it published that I owed it to him or her to read it even if I wasn’t enjoying it.  But I no longer feel that way.

A few years ago I bought a sweatshirt with the words “So Many Books, So Little Time.” That’s become my mantra.  There are simply too many good, not to say excellent, books available for me to force myself to finish one that I’m not enjoying.  If I’m not “into” the book after a couple of chapters, I’ll put it down and choose another.

It’s a bit like eating a meal in a restaurant or buying a pair of shoes.

You go into a restaurant or shoe store (bookstore or library), look at the menu or the racks (bookshelves), and choose a meal or a pair of shoes (crime novel) you think you want to eat or wear (read).  But when the meal comes or you put the shoes on (start reading) you realize it’s not what you want because the entree is too spicy or the shoes are too tight (or the book is too cozy, too violent, or just boring).

Just like you wouldn’t force yourself to finish a meal that you didn’t like or buy a pair of shoes that didn’t fit, you shouldn’t make yourself finish a book that’s not what you thought it was going to be.

And you shouldn’t feel guilty about it–I don’t.


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