Is it wrong to be part of a book club (or, in my case, to run one) and not finish the book you’ve been set/ have set yourself? Unfortunately, I can now add The Glass Canoe to the list of books I’ve started but haven’t finished. Yet. Or is it better to have started to have read a book, than never to have started at all?
The thing is, I was really enjoying The Glass Canoe. Ireland’s writing is vivid and raw, and each short chapter builds on the previous to expand the world to the reader, despite the fact that these chapters are often separate anecdotes (at least for as far as I read. I’m only fifty pages in). I didn’t want to stop reading The Glass Canoe, but I did what all avid readers do and bought some new books in the middle of March. And I started reading two of them, first alongside Ireland’s novel, and then one of the books surged ahead of the other two and that became the book which I had to read.
For me, March wasn’t the month to be reading The Glass Canoe. But I know this is a book I’ll finish, because even now as I’m writing this post, I’m wishing I didn’t succumb to the other books and neglect Ireland’s novel. I want to know where the story goes, and what happens, and immerse myself back in that world.
So, if you’re part of a book club, yes, the whole point of a book club is to read books and discuss them. But I would suggest that if you’re not fussy about plot spoilers and you’re not engaged in the book, leave it. It’s not worth your time. And you can still discuss why you couldn’t finish it (bookish reasons, I mean. I don’t think the “I was too busy” excuse washes over as well as the “I was too busy reading other books” excuse). And even then, it’s a thin line. I’ve walked it this month, but I’ll do my best not to walk that line again. And I will, of course, give an update when I finally work my way through The Glass Canoe.
This month, we’ll be reading Walk in my Shoes by Alwyn Evans, published by Penguin Books, 2004