Wednesday, September 12, 2012

on the road (an update)


Since I wrote a whole post last week about cringeworthy books and said I planned to read the most cringe-inducing book of the bunch (according to the article), On the Road by Jack Kerouac, I thought I should do an update.

I said I was going to read it now, while I'm still young, since most readers seem to agree that the prime age for On the Road is your early twenties. But . . . I'm sorry to say that I bowed out early. I've been trying very hard this year to stick to my promise to myself that I won't waste time reading books I'm not enjoying. And I wasn't enjoying On the Road

I made it to page 50 and I didn't hate it, but I just didn't like it enough to read the whole thing. There isn't a true plot (which I knew going in) and I had a hard time relating to the characters. It feels a lot like a journal in its writing style and, like a journal, it isn't always interesting to people who aren't the author. Lots of "I went here . . . I saw these people . . . We did this . . . We did that . . . Then I went here . . . Bob was there . . ." 

I wasn't cringing, but it's definitely not my sort of book. And as they say, life's too short for bad* books!

Have you abandoned any books this year? Do you abandon books at all? I never used to, but I'm trying to now. It's difficult! I always want to give authors the full length of their books to convince me they're enjoyable.



*And by bad, I mean unenjoyable to me. I would never declare On the Road to be a bad book.

6 comments:

  1. I gave this one a try when I was in college. I didn't make it far, either, before I decided it wasn't for me. I didn't get the allure and was bored by what you mention, the whole "we went here, saw this, did this, and so and so was there" journally thing.

    I'm getting better at not finishing books in my "old age" out of necessity, there are far too many books at my house! If I find it too easy to put a book down and do many other things rather than read it, I can usually convince myself to give it up. Now I have to work on the books I care just enough about to finish but know early on just aren't going to end up being great no matter what happens.

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    1. Glad to hear I'm not the only one! It really wasn't my thing. I do feel bad because it's a classic, but if you're bored, you're bored. Nothing more to say!

      And that's a good way to decide on whether to abandon a book or not. If it's easy to put down, it's probably not going to be great. "On the Road" was a relief to put down, so I think I made the right choice!

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  2. I find it very difficult to stop reading a book once I've started it. I think I just like the feeling of completion and knowing that I did everything I could to like it! But I wish I could put them down- in the past it has taken me months to finish books that I've hated and I have tortured myself reading them! So I think if you can do it, it's definitely a good idea x

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    1. That's just how I used to feel! Well, still feel, but I try hard to push the feelings away. I'm a list person and I love that feeling of completion and crossing a book off my list. Plus, then if the book ever comes up in conversation, I can make a sound judgment instead of just saying that I quit it 50 pages in. But I'll say, it does also feel really good to leave a bad book behind! I'm reading a great book now, when I could still be stuck on "On the Road"!

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  3. Seems like people are kinda torn about On The Road. I was going to read it sometime (you know, sometime in the vague distant future, along with many other books I want to read). Sorry to hear you didn't love it, but I'm glad you're now reading a book you like much better. I don't have too much patience for books I immediately can't get into, either... like 50 pages would be the limit as far as "giving it a chance". Anyway, happy reading. :)

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    1. Definitely. 50 pages is the limit. If it's not good by then, I'm doubtful that it ever will be! Happy reading to you too! :)

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