Book guilt

I love to read.

I like reading good books. Books with literary accolades. Books that make you seem smart, well-rounded and worldly. Books that are well-known classics. Books that are obscure titles that only the best literary snob genius would know of.

I also like reading bad books. Books that no one admits to reading but still find their way to the best seller’s list. Books that are full with adventure, drama and predictable plot twists. Books lacking in literary prose. Books that you shamefully hide the cover of when you read them in public.

I like all types of books.

It is this love of books (combined with a healthy dose of good-old fashioned Catholic guilt) that makes me finish the books that I don’t really like. If I don’t get into a book right away, I give it another few chapters to get better. By then, I’m already half way through and I think, “I might as well finish it now.” Even when I’m not enjoying it, I’ll finish it. I feel too guilty not finishing it.

But, this week, things changed. I started a book a while ago and I wasn’t really into it. I put it down one day and I haven’t picked it up since. In fact, I picked up another book. A trashy book that you would definitely not display on your book shelf. It was a book Erin from Down the Rabbit Hole lent me (if I’m going to call myself out for reading trashy books, I’m bring her with me).

I feel like I’m cheating on that first book. I feel like I’m committing book-adultery.

I don’t know what my next course of action is. I think I have 3 options: I could leave the trashy book for later and give the first book a second chance, I could throw all caution to the wind and just leave the slow-paced book behind forever, or I could two-time the books and read them both at the same time.

I feel like no matter which path I take, I lose. If I don’t finish the book, I’ll feel guilty. If I finish the book, I’ll probably end up disappointed and if I two-time them, well I’m not a good book multi-tasker and I suspect my enjoyment of both books will be minimal.

Oh! Woe! What do I do? Do other people have these issues? Or am I completely off my rocker?

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5 Responses to “Book guilt”


  1. 1 bevchen March 6, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    I know what you mean, if I start a book I HAVE to finish it as well. Which is why I’ve actually read Wuthering Heights (it took me 4 years and 3 attempts before I got past Chapter 2!)

    I’d go with trashy. The other book will still be waiting when you’re done 😉

  2. 2 Kate Cowan February 26, 2010 at 10:40 am

    YOU ARE completely off my rocker, did you really have to ask that question, I swear i have been telling you that for years.

  3. 3 Sarah February 25, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    I’ve finished a few books that I didn’t really enjoy just to say that I finished them. I think there has only been one book that I got through the first chapter and decided I just couldn’t put time into finishing it.

  4. 4 ria February 25, 2010 at 1:45 pm

    i used to be like that. i’d have to finish a book if i started it but somewhere along the line i realized that there are way too many books i want to read and not enough time, so i don’t feel so bad not finishing them now.

  5. 5 Erin February 24, 2010 at 8:45 pm

    TRASHY TRASHY TRASHY!


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I'm Claire. I like to write about ridiculous things.

I love chocolate but don't think cheese and cake belong together.

I often wish it was socially acceptable to wear glitter before 10pm.

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