Erin Lausten

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Catch 22 and Heller’s Curse

Posted by erinlausten on July 19, 2013

I think we have all left a book unfinished. For whatever reason, books are abandoned to the pile of best intentions. Some books lack the quality one might require, or miss the mark in engaging the reader. Others aren’t what were expected or were picked up out of curiosity and once that has been quenched, we let it go.

I’ve dropped books for all of the above reasons. Goodreads created an infographic outlining the top books that readers admit to abandoning and the top reasons why. http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/j-k-rowling-e-l-james-lead-most-abandoned-books-list_b73806

But as I glanced across the data, I cringe at one particular stat. The top abandoned Classic book was Catch-22. Heller’s curse strikes again and apparently I am not the only one.

 Catch-22 is one of my all-time favorite books. And I have never finished it.

Every time I sit down with the book, I get sucked in and aim to read it all the way to the end. I love the characters, the ideas, the style.

And yet, something always happens. I don’t put the book down for any of the reasons stated in the Goodreads graphic. It has always been an outside influence that draws me away and somehow I never get back to it. I’ve had family issues, school commitments, random acts of god, etc… and it all ends the same with Catch-22 tucked back into the bookcase unfinished and mysterious.

One might suggest I just sit down and focus on reading it. After all, it is a short book. I could have it finished within one dedicated day. And perhaps I could have done so several years ago, when I had reached the second or third instance of abandonment.

But now, I am almost frightened of the book. What happens if I do finish it? Has the universe conspired to prevent me from finishing this book? If I complete it, would I break the curse or unleash a great cataclysm that no one would see coming?

Can I risk it?

So, Catch-22 is still on my bookshelf. Maybe someday I will read it all. But if I do, I will make sure to let you all know, so you can prepare–just in case.

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3 Responses to “Catch 22 and Heller’s Curse”

  1. Go for it!

    Though it’s a book I’ve never touched, actually….

  2. LucyPireel said

    We all have one of those I guess, but Catch 22 is one I’ve never read. Your post makes me think I might should pick it up to see if I can finish it.

  3. mike said

    milo minderbinder is my alter ego….

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