I had nothing prepared for today’s ‘lovin life link-up’. It’s ridiculous that I only HAVE to do one non-bookish post a week and I struggle to find something to write about.
Well, in reality I find it hard to think of something WORTH writing about, cos it’s not like there’s nothing on my mind! I’m reminded of a quote from a book I should be reviewing (more on that to come), and the lead character (when still a boy) is told he’s got “too many thoughts swimming around in too small a head.”
The book review is one of the reasons I’m struggling this week. Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton was released in the middle of this year but I didn’t receive it for review. Everyone raved about it though (and Dalton writes feature pieces for a newspaper and I like his work) so I decided I SHOULD read it before finishing my ‘Favourite books of 2018’ blog post.
And I loved it, so it’ll definitely make my list. But – like so many books I really really love – I’m having trouble writing the review. I think I worry (on those occasions) that I won’t do the book justice. So I’ve sat down at my desk daily for 5-6 days now, to write the review… and a few minutes later I get up and go and flop on my bed. #rinserepeat
It occurred to me only this morning that this was not a book I received from a publisher. No one is expecting the review. There are no expectations full stop. Just my own. (And therein lies the problem.)
This has been marinating around in my mind since I read a discussion on a Facebook forum about books yesterday.
Do you keep reading even if you dislike the book? Someone asked.
There was a discussion and debate about a sense of obligation. Or reading 10% or 50 pages. At least giving it a go.
I’m of the ‘give it a go’ school myself cos I’ve often read books which have started slowly but improve. However… I know myself well enough to know that IF I am struggling with a book (or blog post / book review in this case) I will do everything humanly possible to avoid it.
An unenjoyable book means I don’t want to read at night. If a book sits there for days and days and I’m only part-way through, unless my social life is hectic, it’s an indication I should probably give up and put it aside.
Very occasionally I’ll come back to it. In fact Donna Tartt’s The Secret History took me three or four attempts.
There are so many articles reminding us that ‘life is short’. We’re told to ditch the toxic friends, the toxic thoughts. Pursue pleasure (well, within limits obvs).
And yet – though it’s something I whole-heartedly support – I’m not great at doing it in all aspects of my life.
So… (after this morning’s pondering) the book review is being shelved for the moment. I’ve got another I need to review and haven’t been allowing myself to do more reading UNTIL my reviews are up to date. (And yes I know… so many SHOULDS in my world.)
As an aside, I suspect the moment I take pressure of myself re the problematic review I’ll probably want to do it!
Are you good at giving up on something when you know it’s for the best?
The Lovin’ Life team also includes: