Reading a book to the end

I used to read lots of books at once. Five was about right: two long fuses, a couple of interesting reference books and at least one of the ‘sit up all night’ variety.

These days, I am more inclined to read one book at a time – though I still have a couple of reference books I dip into and am determined to finish one day. Rather like the Bible, these tend to be on a long lease… but I remain determined with them, and they do provide daily interest.

But, whereas I used to persist with books that I was less than keen on and make a virtue of reading a book to the end, nowadays, I will usually give such volumes a heave ho after, perhaps, managing through one half. It seems I haven’t the time or inclination to hope that the last chapters of a book might yield an interesting denouement, if the first half of a book has been okay but not fantastic, overly violent or simply not what I want to read, right now.

Hubby – my infinitely better half – will not only read every book to the end, but will choose all kinds of books – about the first world war, the Irish wars of independence, ‘Les Miserables’… – worthy books about worthy and serious subjects, as if, by reading them he will in some way atone and make the world a better place. He is immensely patient, or perhaps proud, that he will not be found slacking on his watch, and that no man will ever be able to accuse him of skimming his duties, missing the greatest opportunity for wisdom the world has ever known or passing by on great enlightenment.

Such motives as these may, at one time, have inspired me. Now, they make me tired, so that I long for some gentle escapism. Thankfully, I have lots of that ready to read on my i-pad. Each to his own.

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