There’s a review I’m very overdue on writing for this blog. I read The Bone Season back in January this year, and held off on a review because I thought I would whiz through the second book just as quickly and review them simultaneously. If you ever glance at my Goodreads ‘Currently Reading’ in the sidebar, you might have noticed what I mentioned in my February Wrap Up, – I have been on page 67 of The Mime Order for a long time.
I’ve been trying to figure out why. It’s not like I don’t often start books and then put them down thirty or forty pages in, hopefully something monthly wrap ups are making clearer. But now I’m in a weird guilt cycle with any book which isn’t The Mime Order, but equally, I haven’t actually read it.
Book blogging and online reading communities can be weirdly pressuring sometimes, in that you only see the reading which people want to show off. It’s easy to assume that is also reality, rather than just a part of it, and start to feel like a shoddy reader and blogger. It’s easy to start believing that everyone else has nicely planned TBRs which they always stick to, and you start to hesitate about instagramming what you’re #currentlyreading, because what if you don’t finish it?
When I don’t finish a book, it isn’t always a reflection that I didn’t enjoy it. Sometimes that’s the case – I didn’t get further than halfway through Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. That wasn’t because it’s a bad book, it’s just a book I didn’t enjoy. Even when someone has recommended something I’m sometimes hesitant to pick it up. If I don’t like it, will they like me less? Or just be disappointed? The idea of not loving something as much as someone wants me to makes me nervous.
But I’ve also part-read plenty of books which I put down not because I wasn’t enjoying them, but because I wasn’t in the right place – not in the right frame of mind, not with the appropriate time available to dedicate to it. With The Mime Order, it’s been a lack of time to binge-read. I read The Bone Season quickly over a few days, and I want to do that again. Samantha Shannon’s fictional world is dense with jargon, and I find that I keep up better if I read fast, so that all the relevant information stays in my head, and gets easier to recall.
So, all this in mind, I made the decision to remove The Mime Order from my Goodreads Currently Reading shelf, and shift myself out of its guilt-stare. There is plenty of time until book three comes out (a year, and then even more until it will be out in paperback), so I actually needn’t rush to get through it. I’m reviewing The Bone Season, and will carry on reading what I feel like.
Was it really that simple all along? Yes, actually, I think it was.