As I grow older, I’ve come to the realization that life’s too short to read bad books. Or boring books…or books that just don’t capture you. Especially when you’re reading for fun (and time is precious). It was different back in the days when I was a young student and had to read books for school. Back then I didn’t have a choice. Now, luckily, I can pick and choose as I please.
I started reading Lost on Planet China: The Strange and True Story of One Man’s Attempt to Understand the World’s Most Mystifying Nation or How He Became Comfortable Eating Live Squid… and stopped about a hundred pages in. In essence, the book is a true story of the author’s (J. Maarten Troost) travels through China and his encounter with the strangeness of Chinese culture (e.g. children wearing split pants so they can pee and poop on the street! Do the really do that???), mixed with historical facts in order to perhaps better understand why the Chinese do what they do.
It is funny in some parts, for sure, but what made me give up was the lack of purpose that I felt in this book. As I read, I missed the part that would make me turn the page in the hopes of discovering WHAT’S NEXT??? What would happen to him? Sure, traveling through China and uncovering its mysteries may be interesting enough on its own, but I didn’t feel that the author was able to truly captivate and hold the reader (a.k.a. me). In short, I just didn’t care enough about his trip to keep reading until the end of it.