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Monday, January 31, 2011

(Further) Bad Reading Habits of Randomly Effective Writers

I am listening to: We Are Going to Be Friends by the White Stripes

I know I'm a bad reader, but I guess I didn't think I was this bad. It's the last day of January and I've gotten 2/3 through the way of my January TBR Challenge book, A Certain Slant of Light by Laura Whitcomb. This is no fault at all of Ms. Whitcomb. I'm really enjoying the book, but as I've said before I'm a reader of gnat sized attention span.

Piling shame upon shame is the fact that I've already abandoned one book (again, no fault to you Mr. Collins) and that the progenitor of the challenge is on book 1 zillion (OK - he's on his 9th book but thanks for making me look bad, Adam.) I will not accept the possibility of defeat (because I still have eleven months left) but I will accept the fact that I'm sabotaging myself.

The books this month that have gotten in the way of my finishing A Certain Slant of Light:

The Clocks - Agatha Christie (comfort read during a bad patch)
Matched - Ally Condi (heard a lot of hype, got on library waiting list, got book, made it to page 20. Feh)
Greyfriar - Vampire Empire - Clay & Susan Griffith (see above. Made it as far as half way and threw the book across the room. Need to find it and give it back to the library)
The Radleys - Matt Haig (same deal with library waiting list but LOVE THIS BOOK and devouring it. Pun intended)

Let me put this in perspective for you as I think I have two distinct problems when I read. First, I am impatient. When I first read Wuthering Heights, one of my favorite books, second only to Jane Eyre, I hated it. Admittedly, the first few pages are pokey. Not knowing any better I left it unread until years later when I discovered it's awesome. If I don't like it, I don't stick with it - a reverse of a flaw I find a lot of people have - hating a book and reading it all the way to the bitter end. Not me, sister.

Secondly, in any book, even a book I like, there's a part in the book (not always, but usually) when the possibilities are narrowed way down and the outcome is fairly clear. Duh, that's the way it's supposed to be. But I get itchy right around then. Right when the plot tightens up and you get down to brass tacks, because you know what's going to happen. It signals the end of the book and I don't like that. I'm not good with endings. I'm at the last quarter if my WIP and I'm slowing down to molasses, barely registering 1000 words every couple of days and this is why. I hate endings of any kind. I'm obviously stunted in my emotional growth and acting like a juvenile. True dat.

So, can I change my ways? Can I not pick up another book until I read Certain Slant of Light? I'm going to try, dear reader, honest I am. But can I read The Radley's too? Only that's a 14 day library book and I need to know what happens...

Libraries are like candy stores - sigh.

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