|Picture I forgot to include in my original post of this series.|
I came to a realization today about my summer reading challenge.
Lately I've been trying to read two books. One, a classic (Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen) and the other, a fiction (The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta). However, both books are kind of a challenge for me for different reasons, and yet they are both enjoyable for different reasons. I am working on explanations for this for a separate blog post.
The thing is this whole time I was concerned about actually finishing these books in order to write about them. I mean, I know that is the ideal way of reading and it is my goal to actually finish reading more books, but like I said, it depends on the book to keep my attention alive.
I've begun thinking that because these books are kind of annoying me to an extent, perhaps I should move on to another book in my collection. There are certainly many to choose from. Then it hit me. This could be my summer reading challenge. Isn't that what reading is all about too? Just having fun reading randomly? I could sample a bit of every book to see what I do and don't like, to make for a very successful reading experience. And, if I really am engaged in it, I will continue reading it of course. That way I can say that I read a bunch of different books during the summer instead of the few I struggle to get through. That way, as a reader I can feel more accomplished in my reading agenda. If a person struggles to complete reading a book, is it really worth it? Shouldn't the experience of just reading be enough?
Or is it that the ultimate goal of reading with always be to complete the material? What should matter? Should the fact that I am reading anything at all and getting something from the material be what matters or is the whole reading experience considered a somewhat failure because the reader does not finish his or her reading material? Will the experience be incomplete and will the reader him or herself feel incomplete?