Stalling on good books

I recently finished The Lies of Lock Lamora, the first book in the Gentleman Bastard sequence by Scott Lynch, and let me tell you – it rocked my socks off.  You can read my five star review on Goodreads.

But something strange happened with this book that has happened to me a couple of times before: I stalled.  I was loving everything about the story, but, for some reason, I put it down halfway through and didn’t return to it for several months.  I didn’t mention this in my review because I don’t think it had anything to do with the book; this is completely my problem.

As I mentioned, I have stalled on good books a few times before.  The first example that comes to mind is Dean Koontz’s Cold Fire, an awesome thriller that took me months to finish.  Like The Lies of Locke Lamora, Cold Fire never lost suspense or failed to hold my interest – I just paused in my reading of it for some inexplicable reason.  Again, I didn’t hold that against the book in my review.

So I have to ask myself, why does this happen to me every so often?  I don’t have a good answer to this question, but here a few hypotheses:

  • Short attention span.  I already know that I have a short attention span.  If a book is longer than 400 pages, I usually groan and put it back on the shelf.  If the book is long but its description intrigues me, I have to mentally prepare myself to read it.  Sometimes I even set page number goals so that I don’t drag my feel and take forever to finish.  It’s quite possible that I stalled on Locke Lamora because of its length, but this theory doesn’t explain what happened with the shorter book Cold Fire.
  • Wandering eye syndrome.  I am always looking for new books to read.  Sometimes I get so excited about a new book, that I will drop whatever I’m currently reading so that I can start it.  I know this is very ADD, and it sort of goes along with my attention span problem.  I might have gotten stalled on Locke Lamora and Cold Fire because another book caught my eye, but I can’t remember if that’s exactly what happened.  I tend to block these things out of my memory because I feel deeply guilty about abandoning good stories, constantly promising myself that I’ll go back and finish them.
  • Subconscious desires.  Sometimes my subconscious does things without asking the rest of brain.  There’s a slight chance that pausing in my reading of these books is a subconscious way of saying, This is so good that I don’t want it to end!  Or, in the case of Cold Fire, perhaps my subconscious was trying to tell me, This story is incredibly creepy and I’m scared!

So, those are a few of my theories as to why I occasionally stall on excellent books.  The real reason is probably some combination of the three.

Thanks for bearing with me through this rambling, speculative post.  Please do not let my personal reading issues stop you from picking up either Cold Fire or The Lies of Locke Lamora, both of which are great reads.


About Lesley

I love big dogs, ravioli, and all things nerdy. Books are my crack.
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