Hello Virtually Readers! I hope this’ll be an interesting post, but first we have a few announcements. First, Shanti and I will be away next week (hopefully we’ll return with beautiful photos & such) and so Shanti has scheduled posts but we won’t be *around* the blogshpere. Second, Shanti and I both guest posted on Heather’s blog at the end of April so you should go an read that, unless you have already. And third, we’re almost done with all our exams, so hopefully we can do more blog reading/commenting/posting then. Anyway, *shrugs* on with the show!
If you read this blog often (or you just randomly stalked one of my posts in January) then you will know that one of my reading goals this year was to read stuff outside my comfort zone. So far this year, I’ve read Fahrenheit 451, The Catcher in the Rye, The Color Purple, (which totally helped me on a recent english exam), and, most recently, Cloud Atlas. Generally, the experience has been good- Fahrenheit 451 is probably one of my favourite books, The Catcher In The Rye was 5 stars, and I loved The Color Purple (yes. That is not the way colour is spelled but it is the book’s title. Sorry anyone who
spells properly isn’t from the US.). I also enjoyed Cloud Atlas (it’s so pretty, right? I photographed it with one of Shanti’s shirts).
But I have been reading it since about the middle of April, until I finished it the other day. That’s a long time for someone who likes to eat books for breakfast. As I ploughed (or, to be more precise, trailed) through it, I realised that there two things that were bad about my approach to reading it. But I didn’t stop myself, even though I wasn’t loving it ,(it has 11 sections set in different time periods; I liked some significantly more than others.) because I thought that if I didn’t finish it now, I never would.
The first reason I wanted to finish it is because it was recommended to me by various classmates. Quite a few (meaning about 2) of the same people make fun of my choice to read ‘fluffy’ YA, and I wanted to prove I was sophisticated. I personally think YA can tackle some of the biggest issues about being a teenager, or just a person, as well as containing fabulous writing, but these people don’t (idiots basically). And you know the problem with that? I started to believe them. I wasn’t even really enjoying Cloud Atlas, and I can’t say that I really get why it’s so acclaimed-because it’s a new concept, or wrought with the symbolism of reincarnation, or something? But I started to feel like I was special just because of my reading material that I didn’t even get, and that is both stupid and wrong.
The other ‘wrong’ thing I did when reading this is forcing myself to read stuff I wasn’t enjoying. I really think reading should be primarily for enjoyment, because you can’t learn anything from a book you have negative attitude toward (this is just an opinion- you don’t have to love the entire book, IMO, but you can’t hate it). I enjoyed the stories and their connections but I was mainly forcing myself through it. I didn’t see that it was thematically more deep than certain YA novels, but I forced myself to read it anyway. I liked the satisfaction of finishing the book, and sacrificed my enjoyment and possibly learning for this selfish notion. I personally don’t see the point of finishing books if you’re not enjoying them until you are ready to enjoy them, but I disobeyed my own rule for the egotistical reason of finishing it.
As soon as I did, I rewarded myself with P.S I Still Love You, which I really enjoyed. (If I need to reward myself for reading then I do not know what is up with this world.) (This was promptly followed by Isla and the Happily Ever After, which I enjoyed less.) So, Cloud Atlas is an example where I tried to branch out in the wrong way. I’ve learned now. Don’t be like me.
Have you ever done this? Do you agree/disagree with me? What was the last non-YA book you read? Did you enjoy it? Do you believe in finishing a book no matter what?