Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Have you ever felt stuck with a book? For years I have owned a cheap paperback edition of William Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, and some weeks ago -- or was it months ago? -- having finished another book and not knowing what to read next, I finally started the Shirer. It's very interesting, but I despair of ever completing it. It is 1,599 pages long, counting end notes and index. I am on page 798, and the Germans have just invaded Poland.

In the meantime, I have accumulated numerous other books I'd like to read, and I find myself sneaking peeks at them, even reading a chapter here or there, before I wearily return to the Shirer. I definitely have read too much of it to stop now, and I will be relieved -- and, hopefully, informed -- when I finish. But is it fun to read for leisure with a sense of dreary obligation?

No comments: