The First Time You Give Up On Reading A Book

There’s nothing like that feeling of starting a new book. That moment when you first open the book and everything feels fresh and exciting.

You start off full of optimism for whatever adventure this book will bring.

It might start out alright but eventually you realize that this book just isn’t doing it for you.

You keep telling yourself that it’s going to get better if you just manage to push through it.

I mean it has to get better, right? After all Margaret Atwood recommended it on Twitter.

Eventually just picking it up becomes a battle between you and the book.

You. Will. Not. Let. This. Book. Beat. You.

(Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

Finally you begin to crack and wonder, “What if I just don’t finish it?”

Initially the idea is anathema to you and just entertaining it fills you with guilt.

Then the day comes. The day when you can’t take it anymore.

You’re not going to finish reading this damn book.

The wave of relief that washes over you is bold and uplifting and stronger than coffee.

You’re FREE!

You’re a rebel now, a hardened outlaw living outside of the rules of society.

When you go to the library the next day you return it via the book drop just to avoid the question, “And how did you like it?”

That night you curl up in bed with a favorite reread, a book that’s guaranteed to give you all the warm tingly sensations of a great story.

And when you do pick up your next new book you’re not afraid of it totally sucking.

You’ve already broken free of those constricting social conventions and now you know that you can just toss any book that fails to please.

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Constance Augusta Zaber: Ms. Constance Augusta A. Zaber is a New England writer and general artist interested in history, sex practices, libraries, what she’s going to eat next, and Virginia Woolf. Visit for links to her stores and her sex blog. Follow her on Twitter: @constancezaber.