In January, I quickly put the book Blood Brothers: The Fatal Friendship of Muhammed Ali and Malcolm X on hold at the library. It’s one that I’m writing the discussion post for with the Red Couch Book Club and I was eager to get started. When the book came in, I dove in but quickly found myself floundering. I was having such trouble connecting the lives of Malcolm X and Muhammed Ali to the book club audience of primarily women who are social justice-minded.
I emailed the woman who was writing the introduction post, saying I was about 100 pages into the book and just not connecting with the direction. She wrote back saying she was at about the same place and would focus on her views of Palestine.
I quickly went back to the archives of when we assigned the books and realized in my haste, I had reserved the incorrect copy of Blood Brothers. What I actually wanted was Elias Chacour’s memoir of being a Palestinian Christian. Completely different story.
The Muhammed Ali-Malcolm X book is still sitting on my desk. I’ve renewed it twice and only have 3 more weeks before I need to return it. I know that I’m not going to finish it, but I’m unable to abandon the idea that I could still read it and learn something new.
I’ve always had trouble leaving books, whether they’re just not my style or too dense or the completely wrong book. I like the idea of being able to find something anywhere to learn and expand my worldview.
But sometimes, it’s ok to stop, to return the book, and to recognize that I’m just not in a place to finish every single thing I start. And that’s ok.
Are you able to abandon books or projects? When do you realize it’s time to let something go?
Linked with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday, a time to write without editing. Today’s prompt is “abandon.”