Saturday, May 23, 2009

Difficult books

Some books don't read easily, though you feel you should be reading them.

You can't sustain the interest, but you realise many people are talking about it. The subject-matter's too dense, though you appreciate the substance. The writing's too academic, or could that mean a lack of intellectual grit on our part?

Whatever. There'll be good books, bad books and books you appreciate for every reason other than reading them. For me it's usually the science stuff (e.g. Damasio, Pinker, etc.) and some theo-philosophical writers (e.g. Wolterstorff, Meier, etc.).

Ideas to overcome this problem:
  • Park the book for a while and come back when the 'pain' neurons have stopped firing
  • Read ahead (and hopefully get into a great chapter which motivates you to read what came before)
  • Read more of what others say
  • Read slower
  • Blog on the difficult parts; the act of reflection might create previously non-existent interest
And none of the above works, give the book away to somebody who will enjoy it!

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