Tuesday, April 15, 2008

On Choosing not to read books

Of the latest batch of books that I picked up from the library I have already put two books on the bench to be returned without reading more than twenty pages.

The first of those books was East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I pushed through reading Grapes of Wrath several years ago and found myself greatly disappointed in all of the foul and unnecessary language. In addition, the whole tone of the book depressed me. When I started reading East of Eden and found some of those same foul words within the first few pages and the same depressing tone clearly evident I chose not to read the book. I didn't feel like wasting precious hours of my time reading something so morally depressing.

The second book I wrestled with the decision to put the book away for good. I picked up A Million Little Pieces by James Frey not knowing what I would find in the book. I knew that Frey's writing was good enough to earn Oprah's seal of approval and then to have that seal revoked because of how much he lied. As I started reading the book I gained a sense of appreciation for Frey's writing style. Unfortunately, I had to keep myself on guard because on almost every single page some sort of disgusting curse word and sometimes four or five times on one page. I couldn't take it. I hate those words. They stay in my mind for a very long time with absolutely disgusting pictures. I finally made the decision about thirty pages into the book that I just couldn't keep going. Instead I chose not to fill my mind with those ugly words.

I hate to take those books off my list. I want to expand my horizons somewhat and read books that I wouldn't otherwise have read in order to be able to discuss things and open doors to witness to other people. Unfortunately, I have to draw the line somewhere. Here comes that nasty little in but not of the word idea.

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