Since I am finally finished my exam, I have a lot of time on my hands now, which is why I picked up Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. Judging from the reviews and the size of the book, I figure it would be one of those hard and challenging books, which I am right about. I can’t read this book without a dictionary around. Sometimes, I even have to reread parts of the novel. Then it occurred to me: Is it worth the effort? Should I have avoided this kind of book in the first place?
Reading this novel is really rewarding. In fact, it’s not like any other novel out there, because it intertwines 6 short stories from different settings. I am not done reading yet, but I have already learned a lot from reading this. I’ll write a review about it once I’m done, but I digress.
It’s not like I can’t understand what’s going on. I can. I just need to put a lot of time and effort into it, but this makes me feel like I am just trying to enjoy someone else’s good read. What makes a book good in the first place? To me a good book conveys thoughtful ideas in a clear and interesting way. If it needs rereading and a dictionary to convey the idea, does it mean that the author failed on my part and I should try to avoid this kind of book for future reference?
The thing with challenging books is that the more you read them, the better you’ll become at understanding them. But is it worth it? I am quite undecided.
What’s your opinion on this? Do you actively seek out challenging books, or do you tend to avoid them?
Update: turned out Cloud Atlas was worth reading. Check out my review of it here.