I’m currently reading a book I’m interested in, yet can easily put down to take up other tasks—which means it’s taking forever to get through. I want to finish it, I truly do; it’s amusing me and I’m enjoying the journey—and yet it’s not hijacking my every waking moment. In fact, it’s not even top priority when I do get a moment. Which means I’m inching forward only a few pages a day.
Whereas when I love a book, I snatch time to read it whenever I can. I ignore the hubbub of my kids. I let my husband cook dinner. I crawl into bed as early as reasonable, anticipating my big poofy pillow and the book in my hands. And zip—before I know it, the story I want to stay immersed in is done.
It’s unfair. A movie takes a certain number of minutes, whether good or bad. (Although, yes, you may be more keenly aware of those minutes ticking by during some movies than others; still, 90 minutes is 90 minutes.) So does a collection of music. Yet a book can take a couple of days—or a book can take weeks.
Percentage-wise, this means I likely spend more days of the year reading non-favourite books than ones I love, even if, number-wise, the non-favourite books may be fewer.
And while an okay book feels like a leisurely stroll, a great book feels like a race I can hardly remember competing in. And then I have to find the next great book, and the next great book, like an addict desperate for the next hit.