Monday, January 21, 2008

Bored With Books, an Ongoing Dilemma

What's gotten into me lately? I'm forgetting how to finish a novel. I'm becoming, what I notice in my remediation students, as an "I'd rather..." reader. Instead of snuggle up with a book, I'd rather do something else...like bore myself with "Deal or No Deal."

As interesting it is to watch contestants cry about money, the WGA strike is leaving me story-less.

I'm not sure how I fell into this non-attention-span span, but it's beginning to aggravate me. During a time when TV is at its lowest, I should be opening novels left and right, but when I do, I get bored with them. Am I not picking up the right novel? Let's see:

"A Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez was put down because a Pulitzer prize-winner, while sitting on the beach in the hot sun, isn't as easy to read, say, compared to reading it with a circle of nerdy readers dissecting the book on a cold day with a pot of coffee on. I don't belong to a book club, circa Oprah, with other narrative nerds. What I need to do is go back to my horror roots, but I think "oh, I need to be more literary in my own writing and in order to do that, I need to read literary novels."

"Choke" by Chuck Palahniuk wasn't terrible. I wanted to give his style a try and I'm sure people are out there who want to shove a book by him in your hands saying, "no, you should've started with this one, instead." It was a good premise and I should've breezed right through it because it was a short book...but I simply got bored with it. A theme that's beginning to plague me. If I can't save it to my del.icio.us, it's simply not worth my time.

"Samedi the Deafness" by Jesse Ball wasn't a novel...not one you sit down with this enormous plot and great characterization. It was this strange mystery, written all wonky like a poet writing a novel -- wait, it was a poet's attempt at a novel. It's like an art student's take on movie-making. I'm old-fashioned with my reading: plot, character, imagery, themes, motifs, etc. I'm sure he's got great things going for him, and he's probably some literary genius I will never meet, nor be able to wrap my brain around. I just got pissed off at the book, because it was so confusing, and gave up.

"Blaze" by Richard Bachman (Stephen King's other self) was actually decent and I could've finished it, but I got bored. I watched Steph eat up her "Marley and Me" that I bought her for Christmas (she'd be on page 1 Million and I only got to page 100 of "Blaze") and I was jealous...I just wasn't in love with the story, and it wasn't something I needed to finish.

I want to read something I need to finish. Something I can't put down, and I lose sleep over it because it's so good. I forget to eat. I watch the dog pee on the floor, saying to myself"no, no! I haven't finished my page yet!"

Even "Lost" has to wait, because the book is so damn good.

Can't I have that?

Is that too much to ask, people?