Books bring a myriad of thoughts and opinions. Those thoughts and opinions often begin well before the book is opened. The mere sight of a cover, or the name of the author or the title is enough to spawn excitement into the potential reader. Once the excitement turns into action, the book is picked up and the reader is on their scholastic and literary journey. Throughout the twists and turns, the excitement and exuberance, the suspense and surprise, the curiosity and corralling of feelings, the prime objective of starting a book remains paramount: to finish the damn thing.
Some things are pretty much understood and accepted as standard practice such as putting on pants one leg at a time, or brushing your teeth right-to-left, or washing your hands after using the bathroom. Another which should be understood, but for some reason isn’t, is finishing a book. As someone who can get lost in a book just as easy as a person gets lost sightseeing at the zoo, the latter never intends to stay there and kick it with bears, gorillas and the other animals forever. A reader shouldn’t aspire to stay in the same book forever either. Books are many things: educational, fun and intense but they are also meant to be finished. Admittedly, there are times when finishing a book is easier said than done.
Sometimes a book can be a dud, and that dud can be enough to validate being tossed to the side in favor of another title. If there is one thing that can be frustrating with a book, it’s forcing yourself to finish one that doesn’t connect with you. It doesn’t necessarily mean the book sucks. It may be a case of expectations not matching up with execution, an example of a preview not matching up with the performance, or any other number of things. It happens. Other times, it can be the reader allowing a distraction to keep from finishing one. This is usually what happens on this end.
As someone who has reading as literally the most enjoyable activity to engage in that requires absolutely zero company, it usually takes anywhere from 7-10 days to start and finish a book. Moments are often used on lunch breaks, or after a workout, and most reading is done on the weekends. A book that takes that much time to read is usually around 200-300 pages long. For books that are longer, more time is needed. Other factors matter, of course. The type of book (novel, biography, sociological, memoir) all contribute. If, and when, it takes longer to finish a book, it is usually not because a book sucks, but more because the subject matter requires more time to set in and marinate.
Also, social media plays a role because it can get very easy to get caught up liking pictures on Instagram, scrolling Twitter timelines, looking at shit on Facebook to the point that a book, even one that needs time to marinate, takes way too long to finish. Other books start collecting dust, frustration with self seeps into the atmosphere, and all the while, the book is still not done. At that point, eliminating distractions and regaining focus becomes the priority to finish what was started, so the next one can be picked up.
It’s like the great philosopher Fudge in Higher Learning when Malik needed a book for class and Malik was bewildered by all of the literature in Fudge’s apartment. Fudge said he read most of them and chastised Malik for asking for one of his books for a class and not to feed his brain. Everyone has their motivations for reading and maybe it takes being assigned something to see the potential beauty and benefit in something, but the end goal should remain the same when it comes to picking up a book. No matter the reason, the season and the distractions that are sure to come, the goal when starting a book is, and forever should be, to finish the damn thing.