Confession: Big Books Start to Bore Me After a While

This is the reason why I haven’t yet posted my review of Vanity Fair, even though I’ve been reading it off and on for almost a month. My attention span is horrible.

It doesn’t even matter how great the story is, such as in the case of Vanity Fair. I get restless when reading large tomes because I am so easily distracted by other books which catch my attention. Or the circumstances of life overwhelm me and I need to reset so that I can focus my mind well enough to finish the book later.

As I started reading Vanity Fair I was fairly well engrossed. It really is a good story, at least the first half. That’s as far as I’d gotten before I started a slow drift into what can only be described as a funk. Consistent reading of great literature is for me, a part of a productive lifestyle and I haven’t been feeling as productive of late. Life and all that.

When you also factor in that any random trip to the library or any bookstore can easily divert my attention to tens of other titles, it isn’t long before I set aside the longer books for the quicker satisfaction derived from completing shorter books. I eventually (usually within 6 months to a year) finish my longer book. All that to say that Vanity Fair probably won’t be completed before the end of July.

Meanwhile, I have a few other things on tap:

  • The Problem of Pain, by C.S. Lewis. I am drawn to this one right now.
  • The Year We Disappeared: A Father Daughter Memoir
  • The Conversation: How Black Men and Women Can Build Loving, Trusting, Relationships (Seeing the *stuff*around me has made me curious about the kind of books that address this issue. My marriage is better than fine, so no worries.
  • Kitchen Confidential
  • One Nation Under God: A Christian Hope for American Politics. Fully expect to disagree with most of this because I don’t know that there was ever a Christian hope for American politics, but I’m intrigued with the part of the church that is still drinking this kool-aid.

Consider this my summer reading list.



16 thoughts on “Confession: Big Books Start to Bore Me After a While

  1. hearthie says:

    That’s how I feel about serious fiction – very unmotivated. I decided (finally) that it was okay if all I want to read is nonfiction and lightweight fiction. God’s not giving an end-of-life lit exam.

    Vanity Fair may have been the straw… it was *good*, but I get so depressed by unpleasant characters. :p Why can’t literature for grownups be happy?

    (If anyone finds a book written about honorable characters that overcome whatever obstacles and live happily ever after that qualifies as literature, contact me immediately).

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Booky McBookerson says:

    You’re doing better than I am! LOL I know what you mean though. I was supposed to read Moby Dick in college but man, that was a boring book.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jenny says:

    I have been having trouble reading this year. I blame it on the business, having older kids just keeps me going places all the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Elspeth says:

    Thanks, Robyn. It’s hard not to be incredulous at the lack of observational ability required to try and pretend that this country (which I still love) hasn’t abandoned all pretense of Christian principles.

    Someone must be drinking something!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bike Bubba says:

    I’ve read Moby Dick–probably too tough for me when I read it in junior high. One thing I’ve learned is that as I (pretend to?) mature, the thicker books start making sense because I have the Biblical and life experience knowledge to understand the references Melville and others make.

    Agreed that reading big, important books is tough–it takes time we don’t always have. But that said, it’s been worth the effort to get through a lot of ’em. Most recently, the “Divine Comedy”. I made sure that I laughed hilariously from time to time, especially during “Inferno.”

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Elspeth says:

    You’re motivating me Bike, albeit not enough that I am willing to tackle Melville.

    Our oldest read Crime and Punishment and really liked it.


  7. Bike Bubba says:

    There you go! I once decided to bring War and Peace to the dentist’s office as reading material. He got a kick out of it, too, partially because he got me in pretty quickly.

    (How many Russian novelists does it take to change a lightbulb? One, but it takes him 400 pages to do it.)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. joanna says:

    I read Moby Dick in its entirety in high school but you can bet your sweet bippy that I read it only under threat of not getting a good grade in literature class. It was B.O.R.I.N.G.

    I hate large tomes and endless sequels. I’m sick of Percy Jackson because I’ve read the first five books and finished the second 4/5 books but I’m completely annoyed that Riordan hasn’t put a lid on this exasperatingly endless story. THEY LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER ALREADY! The longer he goes on, the more characters I hate. I liked them all but now only Leo doesn’t irritate me. I started the Kane Chronicles but I’m so burnt out on Riordan’s style that I’m having a hard time keeping any interest.

    Several years ago I started Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. My gosh! What a great book. But it never ended and never ended and never ended until I had to read something less depressing.

    I had a friend recommend Outlander so I started the first book but I’m already annoyed with the length of the book and the TINY print and the fact that there are something like 10 books in the series. There are so few books with characters that I love so much that I want to hang out with them every year.

    – LOTR
    – Pride and Prejudice (or any of Austen’s books)
    – Believe it or not, The Hunger Games. I’ve already read the series three times in a year.
    – Tomorrow is a River (Have you read that? What a wonderful book!)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Elspeth says:

    I keep meaning to read the Hunger Games. I should try to get that in this year.

    I’ve never heard of Tomorrow is a River but I am putting it on my list. If it’s on your book shelf, I may steal it next visit! Well borrow it. You know what I mean, LOL.

    Several years ago I started Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged. My gosh! What a great book. But it never ended and never ended and never ended until I had to read something less depressing.

    I know exactly what you mean about that!


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