>> Sunday, April 3, 2011
I'm giving up on a book, unwilling to plough on - 100 pages and I still remain unengaged and uninterested. I will therefore delete 'Guns, Germs and Steel' from my Reading List (right column). The premise of the book is interesting enough. In the authors own words, the essence of the book in one sentence is "History followed different courses for different peoples because of differences among peoples' environments, not because of biological differences among peoples themselves."And indeed iti s quite fascinating to learn that geographical attributes for example proximity or barriers like ocean (to other civilisations), whether the land is suitable for agriculture, natural resources, and weather contributed to mankind history (for example, who invaded who and why not the other way). Perhaps its the way the facts are presented, that made the book seems a bit too academic for my liking. I felt as though I was reading a textbook and a few times I literally fell asleep. The book didn't give me the same excitement, the feeling of anticipation, looking forward to the next available opportunity to pick it up again and resume reading from where I left it, which is one of the many joys of reading.
Do you have qualms about giving up on a book once you started reading it? I used to, I admit. But I soon realize that time is too limted (and thence, life is too short) to be spent reading something I don't want to read. About ten years ago, I gave up on Tolkien's Lord of the Rings after about 200 pages of the first book. Somehow, I couldn't follow the narration. Am I glad they made the movies based on the books. More recently, I gave up on Tetsuko Kuroyanagi's Totto-chan's translation into Bahasa Indonesia, because I found it less 'smooth' to read because I'm not fluent on the language. Another one is Asam, Garam, Gula & Kopi by Abd Jalil Ali which is a collection of articles, half of which pretty interesting but not the other half, and in most cases I found myself disagreeing with the author's approach.
Which books have you given up on?