I normally find that November is one of those months that passes very slowly, as though the Universe is giving me a chance to catch my breath before the insanity that is December. This is usually a great time of year to catch up on reading, to read some of those books that I’ve been thinking about for eons.
But this year, not so much; for the first time in my life, November is going by really quickly and with no signs of slowing down, I thought that today I would post about books that I’m probably never going to read.
These are the books that I want to read, that I feel like I should read as part of that endless quest to be a well-rounded reader. But these are also books that I can give myself permission to let go of because let’s be real – there are PILES AND PILES AND STACKS AND ROWS of books out there that I actually want to read and I don’t have space or time for them all. Cuts must be made.
Clarissa or The History of a Young Lady by Samuel Richardson. I’ve wanted to read it for about a decade, ever since I read Fanny Burney’s Evelina in university. But every time I come across it in the library, it sits there in its THREE volumes and I always walk by, pause, think about it and ultimately keep walking. Because seriously, that book is broken up into three volumes and as much as I think I will like it, I’m not sure I can spend the time trying to find out.
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. I tried to read it once when I was about 16 and I could not get into it (probably partly because I was 16). Another book that would require a serious time commitment and I don’t think I have it in me. Plus, books that centre on misguided men aren’t generally my favourite.
Hitler: A Biography by Ian Kershaw. I have actually tried to read this twice. The second time I almost made it all the way through and then evidently got distracted by something shiny. Maybe I could go back and just finish it but it’s been years. The thing is, Hitler is kind of a dickbag and spending so much time with a dickbag is not high on my list of things I’d like to be doing.
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. Even though I generally abhor the idea of seeing a movie without having read the book, exceptions can be made. I understand that probably no one has had more of an impact on the way we live now than Steve Jobs and that he was all kinds of brilliant but I also understand that he wasn’t the greatest person. I don’t tend to read biographies about men on purpose so maybe I should just allow myself to return this one to my father-in-law and stop pretending like I’m going to read it.
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje. The movie is one of my husband’s very favourites (pretty much anything with Ralph Fiennes will do the trick) and I have watched it because he made me. I’m not going to sit here and say I didn’t like the movie because that would be a lie. I did. But now I’ve watched it, it takes away the impetus to read the book (in my defence I didn’t know it was a book before I watched the movie. I KNOW.). I can have it on my list, but I also know I probably won’t ever read it. And I’m OK with that.
Am I totally off base with any of these? Will I be missing out on any quintessential reading experiences by skipping these? What books have you given yourself permission to never read?