|The Overwhelming Tome: The Lord of the Rings|
At first, I thought these people were just illiterates who perhaps find reading to be so difficult they really need to skip the long words. But that isn't it. Of course not. What they really meant was that they just can't concentrate on anything that doesn't have running and stabbing and peril. Actually, I get the feeling that battle scenes like that might just bore them as well. I mean, after all, such things do take up your time. And that's the crux of the problem. I don't think people feel they have the time any more to read. They just want to get it over with.
|Lengthy books are far easier to handle on a Kindle.|
Two football games on Sunday last almost seven hours. Many people watch two or three hours of TV every night. The fact is, we have lots of time to read. People just don't do it. But what of self-professed book lovers who do read? Why would someone like that wish to read The Lord of the Rings by skipping the boring parts? What point is there in reading a book that you find to be full of parts you don't like? That's where pride steps in, I believe. Perhaps people, whether on Goodreads, Shelfari, or other social book-lover sites, are so keen on impressing their fellow book-lovers that they want to add books to their list that will look impressive. Maybe they want to be able to tell people at a party that they've read the The Lord of the Rings but just can't bring themselves to outright lie about it. I don't know. What I do know is that if you find the great majority of a book boring, don't skip those parts. Put down the book. Find a book you do like. There are so many out there, it is not like you should feel obligated to force your way through any book.
|Spend a month on Tolstoy? Or just a few days with James Bond?|
At this point, I calculate that only about ten per cent of the people who started reading this post are still with me. Possibly you're reading this part because you skimmed most of what was written before. I'm guilty of doing this in magazine articles; this generally happens when I'm just searching for specific information. But I've never thought to skim sections of a novel. I just never thought an author put parts in there that he did not really intend for people to read. I figure it is all a part of the story. And I've read many long works: Moby Dick, War and Peace, The Brothers Karamozov, Les Miserables, Last of the Mohicans, and the list goes on. I've also abandoned books. But I can't remember skipping parts of a book.
|Have books outlasted their shelf-life in our busy society?|
Or, if it looks like my time on earth is going to be cut short, I might just skim the darned thing and mark it down on my Goodreads list as read. After all, as Julia Childs liked to say: who's to know?