Thursday, July 30, 2009


I am curious as to whether or not readers out there experience book guilt when they can not bring themselves to finish....or even begin a book.
I myself have struggled with this my entire life. I do my utmost to tell myself
"You should never feel like you HAVE to read a book as a point of duty or obligation or personal recrimination." But, alas, I find I still feel like I am making an orphan of a book when I stuff a book in my to come back to pile....while feeling that nagging knowledge that I don't really mean it with the sincerity I often place books in that pile with.
Do you think there are certain books that as a homage, or a duty, or as a point of respect to an author's life work or creation we should attend to, even if we find we are not enjoying the experience? Moby Dick? War and Peace? Is it a matter of respect to tackle the monoliths of literature.
I am indeed frightened the answer is yes. Still, why do I feel that way about any and all books that I exile to the shelves.

1 comment:

  1. As an English professor, I don't feel book guilt--kind of the opposite. I was appalled and elated to find that I could get a PhD in English literature without ever reading Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar. And I'm trying to see how old I can get before I read Moby Dick. If I have books on my shelf that I don't think I'm going to read, I give them to the library.