It doesn’t take much for me to bring a book home with me. But I often leave these dalliances unfinished—I carefully shelve the book, then promptly forget about it. Months or even years later, I pick it up again and wonder what the hell was wrong with me for waiting so long to read it.
Take Madame Bovary, which I bought for a college class in the winter of 2008. Despite the fact that I don’t normally shy away from “hard” books (which I assumed Madame Bovary was), I let it languish on my bookshelf for three years before I finally dove into it. And guess what? I loved it. It was even a surprisingly easy read.
The same thing happened to me with How Green Was My Valley. I first took an interest in it as a teenager, when I heard my mom and Nana talking about how sad and wonderful it was. When I found a pristine copy at a library book sale for something like a dollar, I snatched it up. I started it once, but then put it down for over a year before I tried again. And guess what? I loved it!
Even my 3-year-old isn’t immune to this. When I was pregnant with her, Jason and I bought a copy of The Giant Jam Sandwich for her. And last week, she finally agreed to let me read it to her. Guess what? She thought it was hilarious. And wanted me to read it again.
At this point, I’ve made it my goal to get through the remaining books on my to-read shelf by the end of the year. Hopefully I’ll discover some gems on there and then I can kick myself some more.
Are there any books you’re kicking yourself for not reading sooner?