This morning my reading mojo returned. After a lie in, I was determined to pick up Wool by Hugh Howey and grab it by its proverbials. I started reading and found myself rushing ahead, trying to skim read it, because the section I have been on has seemed never ending. The story set around a silo and its communities is a science fiction/apocalyptic genre where the outside atmosphere is toxic and the inhabitants are in a kind of bubble. Perhaps I struggled with this recently because its too near reality – people locked away, the outside too dangerous, maybe I needed something more light hearted to read at this particular point in time. I did, however want to continue with it and see where it was heading as a lot of people have raved about this series of books. As I am prone to read too quickly and misunderstand, I tried to reflect on this and study the words more closely. When I was in junior school, I used to read books at a fast pace and one of the boys on my table used to make fun of me saying there was no way I could read that fast. It can be useful, such as when I did my MSc as I had to skim sections of text books and didn’t need to read the whole thing, just pull out the vital contents or a quote.
Skim reading a novel can be distracting at times, if your mind drifts, you lose the plot, assume something happened, rather than know the true meaning of the words. This had been the case with the plot of this, I have had to Google a plot synopsis to find out what the heck had just happened. I won’t reveal the plot, but suffice to say that the story revolves around characters going up and down numerous amounts of stairs. I found myself asking where on earth is this book going, why are they doing this. because I am a visual learner – I need to see the practical reality of something to understand it, I can struggle with this type of plot line in a book. I kept wanting to say to the characters, stop at this level! I want to get off and have a nosey around this floor and see whats occurrin’, but they just kept on climbing up and down which frustrated me even more. On checking the synopsis I discovered a few forums where people were questioning the style of the book, what was happening, who the characters were, which made me think it wasn’t just me, others were struggling with this section of it. There seemed so many characters enter and then disappear before you even had chance to get to know them, which again was frustrating.
Today, however the Eureka moment, it clicked, there is a new addition to the story – a new angle, which has now completely got me hooked and I read a very large section and felt relieved that I could concentrate and switch off enough to read again. I perhaps need to stop panicking about my one book per week target for this year that I set myself on Goodreads, and just enjoy it for what it is. There have been times, that I have forced myself to read a book, knowing it was going to be absolute pants, but nowadays I usually give it about 25% and then if its not gripped me I figure at least I tried. Sometimes I go with a hunch that one will get better if I give it time, this one was one of those and I am glad I read more thoroughly and took in the meaning of what was being said. If I don’t get the hunch I give it up as a bad job, because life is too short for dull books.