Dull Reading

Two blog posts within a short time frame of each other have prompted me to disclose what I think is the most boring book in existence.

Snail's Tales reviews François Jacob's autobiography, calling it tedious and depressing, and Anne and May ask, when do you give up on a book?

I try hard not to start books I know I'm not going to like. This is especially difficult when you're an avid reader and everyone loves to give you books, not always from your wishlist. Sometimes, however, it works out in serendipitous ways - I almost, almost, didn't start Outlander because I thought it would be a fluffy, new book (I don't often read books that have just been published, most of my reading list is pre-1950). And then I nearly dropped it when I got to the middle of chapter one, which talked about how rationing had been lifted in 1945 England (!). Now I realise that this was a gross copy editor mistake, and nothing to do with the strength of the book. If I hadn't continued... I certainly wouldn't have discovered The Forum, new friends... the list goes on.

If I start a book and find I'm struggling... I struggle. On and on. If I can, I'll read a chapter per sitting; if not, I'll read a few pages. I even slogged through Love in the Time of Cholera.

Which leads me to the most boring book in existence: Shane by Jack Schaefer. I read it the first time around the age of 13, probably because it was on a school list (though not one of the required books). I was so bored and so annoyed that I read the entire novel again nearly ten years later, simply to see if I would have the same reaction. I did. I understand the themes, the imagery, all that. But that stump!

How much more boring can you get?


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