The Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follet...To keep reading or to not keep reading, that is the question

So, I have recently learned a valuable reading lesson. I have a great respect for books, authors, editors and publishers - well, most of them - and, in the past, I have agonizingly worked my way through books that did not interest me, I couldn't relate to or were written with poor, - okay, let's just say it - awful grammar and style.

Why, you ask? Why submit myself to this torture? Well, there have been times when I just couldn't take it anymore and I closed the book and put it down; however, while browsing my shelves for another better book to read, I am suddenly overcome with a feeling of overwhelming guilt. I actually feel like I'm letting the author down. What if the book gets really good and has a terrific ending? What if there is more substance to the characters than previously revealed? What if, what if, what if?

I have tried to remedy this little quirk of mine and I have, for the most part, been successful. Until now. Ken Follet's The Pillars of Creation has reawakened my past guilt.

Usually a strong advocate of boycotting Walmart, I one day found myself with a long wait on my hands and no bookstore in sight. But, of course, there are a gazillion Walmarts littering this country, so I set my prejudices aside and went to check out their book selection. I should have trusted my gut. After perusing their books for all of sixty seconds (it usually takes me hours before I can drag myself away from a bookstore), I realized that my choices were slim: romance novels, self-help or The Pillars of Creation. The choice was obvious for me; I went with the historical fiction, usually a safe bet.

So here is my dilemma. The book totals 970 odd pages, approximately 300 of which I have read. The book started off well with exciting and page turning scenarios. I'm not familiar enough with the history of the time to notice any glaring inconsistencies and the writing and details seem to fit the time period. Then, at about page 200 the story started to drag. I've invested another 100 pages and now must decide to read on, or not, as the case may be. It seemed to have potential at the beginning and I'm kind of curious to see where the story goes in the next 600 pages; but, am I wasting my time? I could be spending the time it would take to read the rest reading a really really good book. There are so many I would like to read and the list seems endless; but, what if I miss out on the best book ever because I'm intent on finishing Pillars of the Earth just for the sake of assuaging my ridiculous guilt?

A dilemma indeed. What to do? I think I'll give it another hundred pages. LOL.

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