I’ve figured something out.
I’m actually scared of starting new books. In fact, I am amazed when I look back over all the books I’ve already read this year— because it is so hard for me to sit down and start something.
I will not tell you how many books I have *bought* this year.
And no matter what you might say, I think there’s actually a reason I’m scared. Not quite complementary, but real: Reading a new book requires surrender.
I am surrendering my time, my mind and frequently my emotions to a person I have never met, and someone whose motives and world-view are (so far) unknown to me.
Just now I am amazed by how hard it is to pick up the sequel of a book I actually enjoyed (I have unread books of at least three authors I’ve liked, and I still haven’t been able to surrender to finishing any of them. ) I’m leaning more toward starting another series, just to check it out, rather than continue investing in a story world.
I wonder if I’m really just afraid it won’t be as good as what I’ve had before and I will feel like I’ve been foolish and wasted my time.
I’m still working on words for the difference between owning a book, and merely picking it up from the library. There are books I’ve been able to hold my breath and dive into only (I think) because they’ve been sitting on my shelf long enough to become somewhat familiar. Sometimes from appearance, sometimes from a half-dozen pick-up-and-flips (I am a total spoiler-seeker; I think it’s connected to my suspicious nature when dealing with strangers).
In some crazy way this seems to make them less-threatening, and when I take the plunge I feel more secure.
All these are books I didn’t even crack within a month of buying, but all are books I am very glad to have read.
As I look back over my shelves I am reminded why I picked each of these books, and another reason for my hesitation becomes clear: I want to give them more than I have right now to give.
I expect twists on old tales to make me think, and I want to have enough brain to give them, and just now I wonder if that is possible. But that question will never go away, so the end is where I began: just. start.
If God can use leprosy, he can use even a book I don’t like or don’t understand to advance my education. I do my best to avoid them, of course, but he can redeem the uncomfortable too.
He’s just that good.
I understand this completely! Whenever I start a new book I am excited and nervous because it could be a wonderful book or a waste of time! I’m glad to know that others feel this way too.
And I’m desperately glad you commented, Layne, since I’ve never hard anyone share this view, either.
And the kids slept late today, so I finally to the plunge and started book two of the Ranger’s Apprentice. (Annual Mother’s Day 1/2-off sale at our independent/used-book store and I found book two for just a couple bucks.)
Already comfortably settled in my stride and content to finish.
Hmm! I’ve never felt this way about a book. I always feel like “Bring It!” I guess that’s what makes me a bibliophile.
Lurv Rangers Apprentice. Still think 3 is the best. I’m so jealous that you got it for a couple of bucks. I have mine all in hard bound pretty much purchased the day they come out. . .Bad me. :)
Oh, and I’m a “bring it on” type, but I’m finally learning that I don’t have to finish. That’s a major step for me.