I was reading a book, as one does, and from the get-go, I was against it. The descriptions: overwrought! The characters: eh. The story: painfully predictable.
I am a finisher generally, so that's one thing that factors in here. And I was reading it for my book group, which made it imperative to finish (that sounds weird, but I think it's true). So I kept reading. And reading. And reading. And hating. And hating. And hating.
I've heard all about hate-reading, but that's not what was going on exactly. I wasn't getting any contemptuous pleasure from what I didn't like. But at the same time, I couldn't let go of my…aversion. Why is that? And what does it mean? My feelings got stronger and stronger, something almost like rage took hold every time I picked the damn book up. And it felt like, somehow, I was being given a message, but I am not sure what the message was.
I do realize it's possible that the message was nothing more than: you do not like this book. But it felt like more than that, and it is still rankling inside me, weeks and weeks after I finished that book. A complicated icky stew of jealousy and resentment and frustration. All familiar somehow, a feeling that only happens to me with certain types of books that seem, to me, to take themselves too seriously, to be too assured of their own literary value.
Why does this bother me so?