I have been in a bouncing-all-over-the-place sort of phase with my own reading. I read William Boyd's A Good Man in Africa, though that was sort of assigned (book group). Then I read a short (ish) story by Tolstoy (Hadji Marat). And then, gee, something else that has entirely slipped my all too porous mind. And then I thought: I'm hot. I'm tired. I'm cranky. I'm going to dig out the Ruth Rendell I bought for $1 at Book-Off, and I will have FUN.
See, here's the problem with expecting fun. You feel even more disappointed when it doesn't work. Cheated, almost. A bit like "I was all set to read something without literary value, but if you take away the fun too, what am I left with?"
I don't know. I mean, I am a big fan of wide reading. I read high and low and side to side, and I want to welcome it all. But there is something about reading a book that you hoped would be a good time and instead having it be a bummer, but without that soul-stirring depth I associate with greatness? That's just a drag.
Should I attempt greatness? Probably. I will work on it.