On Sunday night, the festivities of Father’s Day over and the kids sent to bed, Clare and I sat down with a TV dinner and slipped in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 into the blu-ray. An hour and 45 minutes later, Clare had picked up the iPad and was starting to browse while I was struggling to keep awake. Opting for a screen – and teenage angst – break, I paused Harry’s exploits to make a coffee.
“How much longer is left,” Clare asked absently as I stared at the display in disbelief.
That couldn’t be right, could it? 60 minutes to go. Another hour of Harry, Hermione and Ron looking pained and hanging out in tents. And, as a little voice in the back of my head kept pointing out, this is only part one. There’s part two to come. Deathly Hallows? Deathly dull more like.
As the kettle boiled, I seriously considered whether to abandon young Master Potter’s latest cinematic outing as a bad job. There was one snag: I hate giving up on films.
In the cinema, it’s a complete no-no. I’ve paid my money and I’m going endure every minute, in the vain hope that a) things will improve and b) I can at least moan about it afterwards if they don’t. At home, I’m less disciplined. If I’m not enjoying my time with a film or TV show, the remote contacts starts calling to me, tempting me with a myriad of other possibilities or, in the words of the Why Don’t You gang, even to switch off the television set and do something less boring instead. Nine times out of 10, I’ll stick with it, but increasingly, the siren song of the remote proves too strong.
When it comes to books, things are different. Whenever I start a book, I’m loath to put it down, no-matter how much I hate every moment. It’s weirdly masochistic. I persevere, knowing full well that I could abandon it for a more worthy member of my ever-growing ‘to read’ pile. It’s almost as if I hate the fact that a book might beat me with its sheer ineptitude. Or is it actually, as with films, an underlying martyr complex? Do I just want something to whinge about?
So what about you? Do you battle through books you aren’t enjoying or do you ditch them without a second thought? And which titles, if any, have you abandoned due to the fact that life is just too short?