Intimidating books

Have you ever felt that a book you really want to read will be such a mammoth task, for whatever reason, that you keep putting off reading it? It could be that its very long, or perhaps difficult subject matter. Or maybe it has been hyped up a lot in the press and you might be afraid you either won’t enjoy it, or just won’t get it.

Alternatively, do you ever deliberately save a book for a while before reading it, just to build the anticipation? I think there are certain books that you just know will be over too soon – recently I felt this when reading The Hunger Games (part one), The Hundred Year Old Man, and The Night Circus. It seems sometimes that when a new book in a series is finally released (Harry Potter being a good example) that people rush to be the first to be the first to buy it and the quickest to finish it. I never really understood that. Once it’s been read, it’s been read. Yes, you could read it again if you wanted to, but you will already know what happens. I would rather savour a book I had been waiting so long to read (though sometimes I do accidentally annoy myself by reading parts of a book, particularly the ending, too quickly, as I’m too desperate to know what happens. Inevitably I have to go back and read it again, as I end up missing vital bits).

I started thinking about this when I realised I had received three books for Christmas in 2011 that I have yet to read. They form a trilogy – 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami . So I started to wonder what exactly might have stopped me from picking it up. There’s no question about whether or not I want to read it. So I think, on reflection, that it might be a combination of factors – mainly that a) the trilogy is quite long, and b) having read Murakami before, I know how complex and fantastical his work can be (I also know that 1Q84 involves multiple universes and many characters).

I think I feel the need to really concentrate on this book, and devote a good amount of time to reading and enjoying it (and making sure I don’t miss bits). It seems that such a time has not yet presented itself, but it will. Until then, I’m prepared to wait.



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