For the third time in about a month I heard someone described their process of skimming a book. Seth Godin told Gary V he reads a book until he “gets the joke”, and then he puts it down. I heard someone else describe their process of reading the beginning, the one chapter with the meat, and maybe the conclusion. If you do this can you really say you read the book?
I have a point of no return with books. It’s somewhere around a third. If I’m a third of the way through and I realize I don’t like the book, I’m stuck. I’m in it until the end. In fact it’s rare for me to stop reading a book at all. I think I can name all of the books I’ve read only part of in the last ten years – A Game of Thrones, The Great North Road, and The Satanic Verses. When I gave up on that last one I tweeted, “I’m halfway through the Satanic Verses. It’s beautifully written. Every paragraph is like a poem. I have no idea what it’s about.”
I don’t normally read biographies but I picked one up because it was about a person I’m interested in and it’s by an author I know I like. I don’t know exactly when I started reading it but I know I’ve moved three times since then. I never read one book at a time so I’ve read a bunch of other books since then. I’ve read at least one other book on the same topic in that time. But this one is dragging on. It just won’t end. Sitting down to read it feels masochistic at this point. But I’m more than halfway through… just stick it out.
I mentioned this to Chrissy last night and she made a radical suggestion. “Stop.”
Well I’ve thought about it, and I decided to give myself permission to stop reading this book. I don’t feel good about it, but there’s a stack of books on the table I really do want to read. Time to move on.
Ancestor by Scott Sigler – Science Fiction
I don’t know how this didn’t make the first list, but I’m kind of glad it didn’t so I get to include a Scott Sigler book here. Sigler’s is the only horror I read. Sci-Fi-Horror.
65 Below by Basil Sands – Fiction
When I finished this one I immediately bought the Kindle version, which is apparently a bit different. I haven’t read it yet.
This list feels a little shorter than Part 1, but I think if you add up the total listening time it’s pretty close. Guys like Bill DeSmedt, J.C. Hutchins, Scott Sigler, Mike Luoma, and Nathan Lowell have set the bar so high it’s hard to justify putting stories I thought were just “good” on a Best Of list.
As I said last time, if you enjoy these books support the author and keep a good thing going by donating through the Podiobooks page. The author gets 75%.
Otto is Richard Krugg’s only son and heir to the Shaman’s gift. The only problem is Otto doesn’t want it. He wants to be a fisherman. When company policies force unwelcome changes onto his life and threaten even the security of the village, Otto discovers that being a shaman isn’t optional.Jimmy Pirano is caught between the devil and the deep green sea when new production quotas are handed down from corporate headquarters. Locked into a century of existing practice, Jimmy is forced to find new ways to fish and new places to do it in or face the very real possibility that Pirano Fisheries will lose the St. Cloud franchise.Join Otto, Richard, and Rachel Krugg as they struggle with what it means to be the son of a shaman. Cast off with Jimmy, Tony, and Casey as they navigate the shoals and shallows of corporate fishery along the South Coast.