A challenge

December 28, 2013

I have been reading this book that I have seen much praise for on the Internets, as one of the best (if not THE best) new sci-fi book of 2013. I wish I loved it like others have loved it, but I don’t. Though really, I guess I don’t truly wish that I felt the same as others. I’d rather have original thoughts.

I didn’t exactly pick up the book trying to find fault with it, either. I reserved it from the library with the hopes that it would be like many other books whose worlds have drawn me into them. Only this book isn’t really doing a very good job of that. I don’t enjoy the protagonist, who seems to have some unreliability issues, nor any of the other characters in the entire book, so far. I am halfway through and it’s been a chore to get this far. Just when I get interested again, something begins to bore me, but I’m on the downslide of the hill now. I want to finish it, to see if the ending is worth the journey there.

I was thinking about what compels me to finish reading something, and what stops me and has me cast a book aside. I use goodreads to track what I read, and I have abandoned more novels this year than just about any other year. When do I reach the point when I believe that reading further is a waste of my time? Is it when the book takes it’s nth turn down a stupid path? Or when I just can’t even relate or enjoy the protagonist’s journey? I am not sure. Maybe boring, tired prose that weighs down the narrative? Maybe even narrative that never excites me, or speaks to my frame of mind, or delights me with wordplay. Maybe all of that. Almost definitely more.

Thinking about abandoning novels for dull narratives makes me want to abandon my own life. Not in a sinister way, by any means. I’m simply not challenged from day to day, and I feel like I need that. It is like so little amuses me or distracts me from the mundane. I can hardly stand it. I wonder, sometimes, if anything will ever excite me again. I mean, sure, I get excited to see old friends, and to make new ones, to have intelligent conversations, and to try new things and learn new skills. It feels like lately any of that is a stop-gap from generalized boredom. I need a challenge. I ache for one, to get a bit melodramatic over here.

I know it’s winter, and I know what that does to me. I try to see outside of that, to who I am when I am standing someplace warm, with the sun shining all around me, squinting because the brightness hurts my eyes so. I look around, try to see where I am standing, and I just feel I am standing so very still. Stuck, without really being stuck. Dream-stuck, I suppose. It is like I don’t know where I am or where I am going. The path is, like, over that way or something, but I can’t even see it anymore. Frustrated with that, I want to turn my back on it, find some other way to go, but I’m imaginary lost, so will I only be imagining I’ve found where I want to be?

All I know, or at least what I feel to be true, is that a challenge is not going to find me. As usual, I am going to have to figure this out myself. And I will probably be all secretive and weird about it, because it’s my business, and mine alone. I worry and fret about declining into a state of abject loneliness. But I’ve always been made of so much more fight than degradation of self. I want to shake up this complacency, well then fucking fine. I will do that, then. No, I will do that now.

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