While I do love reading, there are a few instances where I have trouble finishing a book. Either personal circumstances, such as needing to finish personal projects, inhibit my progress, or I find the book less interesting than other ones I have delayed reading. Generally, the latter is the real issue. I love reading fantasy and scifi novels. Sometimes, I’ll read a work of realistic fiction. More recently, I started reading more biographies, memoirs, and similar works or articles. When the writing is mediocre or the subject of three or four chapters is one instance in a person’s childhood, which deserved only a paragraph at best, these books can be tiring. However, a well written biography or memoir can be a secret gold mine containing trivia and insight concerning the current or past worlds.
One of my current reads is Vanity of Duluoz by Jack Kerouac. I never read any of his other works, and this one was staring at me from the library shelf. So far, it’s kind of a drag. He spends the beginning of the book reminiscing about his days as a football player and lovable scoundrel and goof, which would be fine if it didn’t continue into infinity. I’m close to the part when he begins his career at Columbia; I hope the book picks up from there. Another point I find slightly irritating is his constant “dear wifey” references–they take the place of “dear diary” in this story. Also, sometimes it’s hard reading about someone going on a personal journey when your journey demands more and more of your time. Anyway, while I prefer not to waste time reading or doing something I don’t like, I like Duluoz‘s prose enough to make myself finish it. Besides, I should read at least one Kerouac novel in my life.
PS: I do find it interesting, as an American with strong French roots, to read about another French American.