I don’t pretend to have read any books. If I’ve read it, I’ll tell you. If I haven’t read it, I’ll tell you that. If I’ve read part of it and gave up on it I’ll tell you that too – and the reason. If that’s the case it’s usually because life is too short to read bad books or maybe just because I got distracted by a book I’d been looking forward to being released or for another reason.
The one exception to this rule is War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.
I have read it and I mostly enjoyed it. Although I’d probably have enjoyed it more if I’d bought/read it on my Kindle. Simply for practicalities sake.
But the thing with Tolstoy (based on my reading of War and Peace and my attempting to read Anna Karenina) is that he writes extremely long books. Ones that don’t stick to the main plot but digress a lot and maybe do add to it but if the books were written now would probably be edited out. Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables was like that as well with a several chapter digression about the sewers of Paris but was much better at relevance. Because I plowed through all of that and the story ended and the book ended. This is how it should be.
War and Peace however ended. And then had a very long epilogue which I read. I seem to remember it was divided into multiple chapters and was around 100 pages but I don’t know if I still have my copy (I don’t think I got rid of it but I can’t see it on either of my bookcases) so I can’t check. I read that epilogue. But then there was a second. And that wasn’t about the story or even part of the story. It was the author waffling about stuff related to it but nothing to do with it. I read several pages of it and then I got bored and called it done.
I say I’ve read War and Peace because I consider that a bit like the “book club extras” you sometimes get at the end of a contemporary book such as an interview with the author or an extract of another of their books. Leo Tolstoy probably didn’t consider it unnecessary however so I shall say that’s the book I pretend to have read. Only, I have actually read it.