The downsides of setting goals

I’ve just come up against a drawback of setting an ambitious books-read goal for myself: it means I can’t abandon a book that’s not really doing it for me.

I mean, if I were to hate a book in the first ten pages, I could put it down and pick up another without too much sturm und drang.  But if I’m a third of the way through before I realize hey, this isn’t my cup of tea, it’s not really grabbing me — well, now I’m too invested.  I’ve spent too much time on it and if I stop reading now, I won’t get to add it to my tally and I will have wasted the time I’ve already put in reading it.

I find myself in that situation now with Incarceron, the next young adult title I picked up after finishing the excellent Will Grayson, Will Grayson.  I knew it was dystopian fantasy, somewhat in the Hunger Games style (I did love that series).  It isn’t my usual genre, but what the heck.

Well…it isn’t terrible and i don’t hate it, it’s just not really blowing my skirt up, you know what I mean?  But I’m almost 200 pages in, I’ve put in a good four or five hours’ reading time, and dammit now I have to finish it.  I might not do so if it weren’t for The Project.

I may finish it and find that I’m glad I did, or I might just begrudge that reading time in perpetuity.  Only another 300 pages will tell for sure.


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