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I used to be compulsive about my reading. I had to finish the books I started and, if I couldn’t–if I wandered away fromDavid Coperfield or left the Mayfair Witches to their fates–I saw it as a sign of personal weakness.

It was an easy attitude to have when I was sixteen and had evenings, weekends, and physics class at my reading disposal. As I got older, as more responsibilities fell my way, this attitude became more and more relaxed. These days, I give a book about fifty pages (unless I have to read it for a specific purpose).

I’m  a far cry from the girl who took a decade to read LOTR, who kept coming back to it every couple of years because she couldn’t stand the thought of not having read it.

How about you? Once you start, are you committed to seeing a book through to the end? Do you feel life is too short to read something you don’t enjoy? Are there any books you’re secretly embarrassed to have quit on?

 

Sunday afternoon saw me shopping at a big box bookstore in a city some two hours away. When I reached the cash, the clerk let out a squal and grabbed the arm of the girl working next to her. The object of their excitement? The small black button on my purse that said “got books?” in the “got milk?” font.

When I told them I had bought it at a small secondhand bookstore back home, and that the bookstore had other buttons and magnets bearing phrases like “Books kick ass!” and “Reading is sexy…”, the girls immediately began debating a road trip.

These two girls–barely out of their teens–were willing to drive two hours to get a $2.00 button proclaiming their love of books.