Or, maybe the concept of “wanting” to keep reading is hard.
I’m reading this book, “The Curse of Jacob Tracy” by Holly Messinger, and I have roughly 100 pages to go to finish the book. It’s entertaining, it’s engaging, and it’s well written. The story takes place in the Wild West, and involves the supernatural. While reading it, the book feels like it could be the start of a great television series. I even picture actors in the roles as I’m reading the book, which helps to make it more exciting.
“Ready Player One” came out in theaters, what, a month or two ago? Steven Speilberg’s newest cinematic movie, LOOSELY based on Ernest Cline’s debut novel of the same name. This book has, or I should say HAD, a special place in my heart.
I used to never read books. Between 6th grade and “Ready Player One”, I avoided books like the plague. Part of it was that I did not like the books that I had to read, part of it was that I had ADHD and could not concentrate long enough on a paragraph to continue reading. Trust me, having to go back repeatedly because your mind starts wandering in the middle of a paragraph and you’ve gone two pages of reading and don’t remember a single word can be quite frustrating.
Anyway, I read “Ready Player One” in 2016, and I loved it. It was a book that spoke to me because it referenced things that I loved about the 80s and technology of virtual reality in the future. It was a fanboy writing for fanboys and fangirls. It was what got me into reading. The next thing I knew, I was buying more books, and eventually became a “bookworm”, thanks to that book.
Amazon has a free service called Goodreads, where not only can you keep track of the books that you read, but you can find other books by authors you enjoy, or listings of every single book of a character or genre that you like, you can mark books as “want to read” or “read”, and you can find review of people that have read the books and what they rated it, and sometimes the author will respond to a review. It’s really kind of cool, if you’re into that kind of thing. You can also do “reading challenges” for every year. I read 24 books last year, that ranged between graphic novels and regular books. More often it was a novel than a graphic novel, but there were a few mangas and Marvel books that I added in there. This year, I started out with 30 books as my goal, but over the last few months, I lowered it back down to 24. Now, I’m not for sure I’m going to even make that.
Earlier this year I was on Facebook, and someone posted a snippet from “Ready Player One”. I recognized it immediately, and remembered how fond of that book I was, and how excited I was that the movie was coming out soon. At the end of the paragraph, the Facebook user stated, “That is shit prose”.
I was shocked, mainly because I was a fanboy of the book. I wanted to respond back to the person and state, “At least he has a book!” or “Oh yeah! I bet you can’t do better!” But, I declined, mainly because I didn’t want to get roped into a Facebook war over something that was that person’s opinion and not mine.
Then, I went back and reread the part of the novel he posted, and I started to think to myself, “You know, that does sound kind of ‘amateurish’.” I started to feel a little heartbroken, mainly because I held that book in such high regard.
Two years later, the movie is about to come out, and reviewers are talking about the movie, the book, and the movie vs. the book. Some of the people or websites talk about how they loved what Steven Speilberg did with the movie, and how cool the effects were, and how many “easter eggs” were in the movie and how cool that was, and just how much fun the movie was. Then, there was the negative reviews of the movie, talking about how it was just an excuse to show a bunch of fictional characters from movies, video games, cartoons and anime, etc., and that the story was lost.
Not to change the subject, but has anyone heard about the equation of Speilberg movies that every other movie of his does well, while the other half does horrible?
Anyway, once again, I was devastated, and I did not go see the movie. Will I buy it when it comes out? Yeah, but, just like my book collection, I have about 15 DVDs and Blu rays combined that I still have to watch that I haven’t done, so who knows when I will get around to watching it.
Around the same time the reviews were coming out, I was eating lunch at work, and the movie was brought up in conversation, and the entire lunchroom was talking about it. Sadly, it was more about the fact that it was basically nothing but glorified fan-fiction and that it was probably not worth seeing. At this time, I was actually agreeing with the negative reviews, and a book that I once loved was causing me to have a sour taste in my mouth.
So, to come full circle in this post, I started on “The Curse of Jacob Tracy” in February, and it is now May. Why have I not finished the last less than 100 pages? I read a blog post from the author about how she felt disrespected by her readers, and how she will never do another appearance again.
Wow. I know sometimes fans can be rough, but to cut out all personal appearances because of the negativity? I thought, as writers, we were supposed to look beyond that and accept both the criticism and the praise and keep doing what we love and keep promoting the shit out of our passion.
Because of that post, I found it even more difficult to finish her book. Not because I don’t think she appreciates her fans, but because she reacted so poorly, and when I met her in person, I don’t think she even cared that I was buying her book. She honestly didn’t seem like she wanted to be there. And, because of the negativity from the “Ready Player One” haters, it made it even more difficult to read because I liked a shitty book.
I really want to get back into reading, but it’s so hard. I’m hoping this post will make it easier.