I can’t even read one.

An Open Letter To The Author Of The Book I Was Supposed To Read For Book Club

Feb. 6, 2015
Dear Person Who Is Much More Successful Than Me At Writing Books,
I’m writing today regarding your novel, which was chosen by my book club to be the topic of discussion at our next meeting, which happens to be taking place tonight. I did not read most of it. I offer you my sincerest of apologies and hope that I can in some small way explain my shortcoming.
Although the book in question is not the usual thing I pick up, I was fully committed to reading it based on a number of factors: 1. it is highly critically acclaimed, 2. a friend whose judgement I trust in these matters recommended it, and 3. regrettably I once hate-read a certain mainstream erotic fiction for book club and I will be damned if I give that rotten paper-and-ink banana peel the time of day but turn my nose up at other more deserving texts. However, as I mentioned, I have not finished your book, and, with book club starting in a matter of hours on this work day and more than 400 pages to go (this book is very long, not that I’m blaming you or making excuses, but I did want to point that out) it’s likely I will not be able to complete it in time.
Furthermore, I apologize for not initially purchasing your tome, instead borrowing it from the library. So close to Christmas, I was hoping to save a little money. Despite my frugal efforts, I have since purchased your book twice, and I hope that helps my case. I first bought it as a Christmas gift for my grandfather (and must admit I had designs on reading his copy before I gave it to him, but found that there were far too many pages for that to be a viable plan). Then, I had to return my borrowed copy to the library, since so many others have it on hold that I couldn’t renew it (you’re in high demand! I’m not trying to get in your good graces through flattery, but did want you to know). At that point, I bought your book again, this time as a digital copy for myself.
It is true that I had six weeks in which to read your book, more than enough time as I am a speedy reader. However, over the course of the past six weeks of book purchasing and borrowing and purchasing again, I’ve managed to read only about 15% of the text I’m sure you slaved over for years. This is partially because for the first few weeks I was still reading the book for my last book club meeting, having not finished that one either. (This seems to be a pattern for me, though it should be noted that I exercise excellent commitment to still finishing these books even after I have missed the deadline.) Other reasons I did not finish your book include, but are not limited to: television, celebrating holidays, shoveling snow, television, work projects, eyebrow grooming, television, being unable to stay awake while reading after 10pm, and television.
In summary, I did not finish your book, although I wanted to – I am sorry, and I fully intend to continue reading, despite the fact that I will not be able to contribute any thoughts to our discussion (outside of “it is long” and “the first 80 pages are great”) and will have to endure many spoilers at our meeting tonight. I want to convey that I have the utmost respect for your work. I myself hope to someday write a book that others will borrow once, buy twice, and then still accidentally not finish before their own book club meetings.

This Literary Procrastinator

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