So, lately, I have been reading a lot of books that I wouldn’t have picked out for myself. That’s called joining a book club, and it is also kinda the main reason I wanted to join a book club: to get into reading different stuff. The fun conversation and the drinks and food are the cherry on top, really. So yes, being part of the Bored to Death book club has been an overall nice experience for me.
Inevitably, there has to be a downside, and the downside is this: when you wouldn’t have picked out a certain book for yourself, most of the time that’s because you don’t think you’ll like it. But, if you’re like me – and I know my fellow book clubbers are like me because otherwise we wouldn’t all get together once a month to spend a wild evening (in a bookstore…) discussing books – you just read the book anyway.
And then this happens: you are disappointed thoroughly.
I certainly have been, you may know that. There were a couple of times I went home afterwards and thought: was it really such a bad book? Most of the time, it isn’t, because, discussing a book’s faults make you want to recall all the little faults you can come up with that you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise. Before book club, I would just throw the book aside after a few chapters and be done with it, but now I have to have some sort of constructive opinion about it, and at least finish it. It seems like the Book Break-Up moments were way easier before I joined a book club.
Last week I did something bold: I stopped reading the fourth book in the Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies-series before the end. I thought: why should I trouble myself with reading a book I would have tossed aside long ago, a book I wouldn’t even have purchased after reading the first few pages in the bookstore?
So, I decided to not finish the book. It felt kinda bad, because I think I can’t really have much of an opinion about the Uglies series since now I haven’t finished it. After a few minutes I knew I had made the right decision – because now I got to read all those amazing books that are still waiting on my to-be-read-list.
I came to think that this is what is really important about reading: life is too short for reading books that aren’t going to give you what you need. Those books are not worth your time. Not even when you get to nag about them all evening to your bookish friends.
Written by Francisca Priem, YA book clubber and fervent keeper of guinea pigs. Come join us for our discussion about Uglies or for our next book club!