One book I clearly remember NOT reading in college is “Middlemarch” by George Eliot. It was assigned reading, but when I opened it, I was disappointed and disgusted. Expository writing at its most horrible. Stuff and nonsense, if you ask me. I didn’t read it because I physically couldn’t. My eyes refused to cooperate with my brain. Since it was for a class (British literature or Women’s lit, I am not sure. I had the same professor for both), I know I should have read it. But since there were like 5 other novels to read in that class, among them “Pride and Prejudice,” I did my long paper on something else. I was naughty. I zoned out during class discussions of Middlemarch, and kept my opinions to myself. At the same time, I had 3 other English classes that were similar to this one (5-6 novels to read, 3-4 papers, EACH), and I spent most of the time stressed to the max.
It would have been nice, of course, if I had the time and wherewithal to read “Middlemarch.” I know I missed out. I know there are people out there who love the book (or at the very least, like it). But at the time, I had a choice to make: torture myself and read it (agonizingly, slowly) or focus on my other homework assignments. I chose the latter because it was easier to move on from “Middlemarch.” I don’t regret it. I probably will never pick up another copy in my life. And that’s okay.
Note to writers everywhere: the beginning of a novel is not the place for loads of expository. You’ve got to hook your reader, not bore them to death (or hopefully, just to sleep).
Other things can be stuffed in my nonsense category:
My opinion only: SPORTS. I do understand why they are so popular among the human race. I do. But they do nothing for me. When I was younger, I used to be dragged to one game or another of my siblings, and by the time I got to high school, I was beyond sick of it. I never paid too much attention to what was going on – I always had my nose in a book, great escape from reality – but there was a time or two when I would generate enough interest to ask a question or two about what was going on. I was laughed at. So I shut up. I did get to know about basketball though. My dad’s the local high school girls’ bb coach, and my sister played for him, so really, I had no choice. I suppose sports are more fun for people who can actually play them. I do remember playing t-ball as a child in the summer in our backyard. Only sport with a ball that actually make sense to me. To this day, if you throw something at me, I close my eyes.
This is a big one: Religion. Yup. You heard me. There should only be one: LOVE. If there was, this world would be much more delightful than it actually is. Straight, gay, lesbian, bi, transgender, Christian, Muslim, Jew, etc – we are all human beings, and we should treat one another with respect. Wouldn’t it be great if we did? There would be now wars, no jealousy, no hatred, no murder, no needless (human made) suffering, just LOVE. The most important thing ever. The world is a difficult enough place to live in – why do we have to go and make it harder? I could go on and on and on about this, but instead, I choose to stop while I am ahead.