Why I Haven’t Read That Book Yet: Introduction

The Egotist’s Club was not necessarily founded to be strictly a literary blog.  Sure, we love Dorothy Sayers and Lord Peter enough to own them as godparents of sorts, and we do read, write, and talk about reading and writing a great deal.  But we also blog about the movies we watch, our observations of society, food and drink, music, and craftsmanship.  Anything pertaining to humanity is fair game: its feats, its fascinations, and its foibles.

And yet…we have, perhaps, given ourselves a rather bookish reputation.  This creates certain impressions, such that every once in a while, there comes a conversation wherein a friend will edge near me, glance about furtively, and then confess that she never got all the way through Lord of the Rings.  Or he’ll say “You’ll judge me for it, but I never did read all of the Narnia books.”  Or “I know everyone’s read it, but I just haven’t finished Hamlet.”

Then I have to tell them how after reading The Hobbit, I started The Lord of the Rings, got to Bree, and stopped.  And then I started again, got to Weathertop, and stopped.  I started again, got to Moria, and stopped.  There was just so much walking, guys.  Eventually I was a sophomore in college, where (seemingly) everyone loved Tolkien with an undying passion, and I had that exact same anxious twinge because I had never made it all the way through.  It came to pass that I befriended the Scrupulously Exact Physicist, who, on hearing this confession, urged me to repentance, saying “You have to read them!” (and moreover, penance: “And then read The Silmarillion!”)  Having been so commanded, I finally muscled through the entirety of  Fellowship, and in fact the entire trilogy – partly by reading during an extremely dull class; never let me claim that Science 101 profited me nothing.

My point is, sometimes you just haven’t read a book, or you feel like it’s too late for it, or sometimes you try reading it and then stop, and far be it from me (or from any of us, really) to make you feel bad about that.  I think the xkcd approach is the best to take:

Randall Monroe, you are totally right about the Yellowstone supervolcano.

Randall Monroe’s right: it’s cool to be around the first time someone picks up that book you love so much.

So this week is for confessing the ways and reasons we are the antithesis of a book club.  To wit, this is the week we (or, well, I, at least) tell you Why I Haven’t Read That Book Yet.

Feel free to join in!


9 thoughts on “Why I Haven’t Read That Book Yet: Introduction

  1. “never got all the way through Lord of the Rings…never did read all of the Narnia books…just haven’t finished Hamlet.” All of those still applied to me when I graduated from college, 2/3 is still true, and 1/3 I don’t really care about.

    Confession #1: I’ve never read an entire original Sherlock Holmes story. I’ll read a few pages, go, “Oh my, this is brilliant!” put it down for some reason, and immediately forget it for the next couple of years.

    Confession #2: I can’t bear Charles Dickens. I suffered through “Great Expectations” and “Oliver Twist” in college, and that was enough for me. I just don’t like his characters or plots. I grant that he has some wit and can make me laugh out loud, but I can get that from Jack or Will.

    Confession #3: I’ve never read anything Mencken, even though my dad gave me a copy of “Chrestomathy” YEARS ago.

    • Okay, so I am with you for confessions 1 and 2, but I got to 3 and went “Wait, were we supposed to be reading Mencken?” But no one’s given me any Mencken to read, so. Not worrying about it.

      Which Narnia books have you read thus far?

      • Mencken just always seemed to be one of those authors that Hillsdale students “should” read. *shrug*

        I’ve read all the Narnia books at least 3 times each now. It was LotR and Hamlet I haven’t finished.

      • Light is SHED. I was sitting here going “Wait, does she need a copy of Last Battle or what.”

        A later post may or may not entail a vast list of all the books I’ve ever felt like I “should” read.

      • I can’t resist…

        “Remember that there are only three kinds of things anyone need ever do. (1) Things we ought to do (2) Things we’ve got to do (3) Things we like doing. I say this because some people seem to spend so much of their time doing things for none of the three reasons, things like reading books they don’t like because other people read them.”

  2. One book that comes to mind that I haven’t read (despite much prompting) is ‘Ender’s Game’. Lots of people have recommended it to me, but somehow I just never managed to summon up enough interest.

    • Oooh. I would definitely join the body of recommenders; it’s a universe I think you’d really enjoy if you got into it. But I know how long your to-read list is!

      (also, you surely knew this, but: NB that last year’s movie had vast swaths of storyline taken out.)

  3. Pingback: Nope, Never Read It | WanderLust

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