How long does to take you to finish (reading) a book?

To clarify, it usually takes me 5-7 months to finish writing a rough draft and less than a week to finish reading a book.  Often, I am reading more than one book at a time, juggling a few storylines in my head.  Reading is something I do every day – something I’ve been doing since I was very young.  If I didn’t feel I was ‘cheating’ on my original characters, I would probably spend a greater percentage of time indulging in reading.

Occasionally, I run across a book that takes much longer to finish.

In the summer of 2001, I went to Australia for 3 months.  Among other things, I brought a discman (I’m old!), a mix CD that my future Hubs made, a giant bag of Swedish Fish, and a book that contained the three books of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.  My deal was that I would finish each of the books before the movie was released.  It was an uphill battle.  Mr. Tolkein may be a world builder, but he certainly does not shy away from explaining how he got there.  Needless to say, I took more than a year to finish the trilogy, probably the longest it’s ever taken me to finish a book.  Perhaps some find Tolkein’s masterpiece an easy read, but it was an uphill battle for me.

Shantaram was another book that threatened to break me, but in the end I’m glad I persevered.  Whatever you come to believe about the author, the story is a truly amazing one – inspiring and engaging.  The slow start and atypical storyline and storytelling do not make for easy work, but in the end I was fascinated by the tale.

Finally, the Booker Prize winner, Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance was one I wish I hadn’t finished.  My former book club in Dubai forced encouraged me to get through this one.  I’m not saying every book has to have a happy ending or be uplifting in some way, but Jesus H. Christ Malloy I literally had to compel myself to get to the ending – which I hated.

And to you, Love in the Time of Cholera and Les Miserables, many a time have I tried to pick you up – only to NEVER finish!  Maybe one day.  Probably never.

So, reader, what is your average?  How long does it take you to finish reading a book?  Additionally, how long do you ‘give’ a book to get involved and finish?  And on the subject, got any good recommendations?

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