Books and My Moral Dilemma

English: All 24 John Griham novels as of June ...

I remember the first time I did it. You do it once and you can never go back.

It was a John Grisham novel – The Firm. We were living in Cairo and my husband was traveling. I had little kids — four at the time. I had bathed, storied, and kissed them and as I passed bedrooms I could hear their soft, rhythmic, innocent breathing.

This was My time.

I lay in bed and picked up the book. The only reason I hadn’t read during the day was time. And now I had time.

I began reading. And I read, and I read, and I read some more. I was deeper and deeper into the novel. I knew it was late but I avoided the clock. When I finally looked, it was already 2 in the morning. I knew I had to go to sleep. But I also had to know the end. I had to. I couldn’t stay up reading — I was single parenting, making sure four children were where they were supposed to be, when they were supposed to be there. But I wouldn’t be able to sleep if I didn’t know what happened. Would the lawyer and his wife make it?

It was a moral dilemma. I knew that ‘real book lovers’ don’t read the end of books. I knew it was a moral code that could mark me for a long time.

So I did the unthinkable – I skipped to the end. I read the end of the book.

Even now I feel the shame of it, the magnitude of that one act, that one time. Because I knew if I could do it once – I’d do it again. And maybe again. And then maybe I’d do it one more time…..

I would be whispered about and bear the shame and humiliation of being one of ‘those’ people, one who reads the end of books. “Who does that? Who reads the end of books?” would be the conversation and I would shake my head and say “I don’t know! Who does that?” While inside I would hang my head and pray they never found out.

What about you? Have you ever skipped to the end of a book? Did you break the unspoken law of book reading? Tell all through the comments.


Readers – Today Communicating Across Boundaries celebrates 1000 posts! You helped this milestone happen by reading, contributing guest posts, and interacting with pieces that you read, posts that resonated in your heart and soul. Thank you! Here’s to 1000 more! (If blogging even continues as a ‘thing’, right?!)


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Reclaiming My Voice

In a commencement address at the University of Virginia a couple of years ago, John Grisham cautioned graduates that the most difficult thing for an author is not the plot, not the characters, not even the dialogue – the hardest thing for an author, he said, is deciding what voice to use in the writing process. He went on to say that the job of a graduate is to find their voice in life. I have thought a lot about this since hearing a brief excerpt of the speech.

I am no John Grisham (and I don’t want to be) but lately I have struggled to find my voice in writing. I began the journey of daily blogging with confidence, determined to find a niche and have a voice. I now sit blankly and the words “I’ve got nothing!” clang like cymbals in my ears. I then over analyze and begin to worry about what people think of my writing and my voice echoes the thoughts of others and not my own. So – I’m taking a break until Monday. I’m not going to look at stats or worry about comments. I am going to relax and reclaim a love of communicating through writing. This week is a great time to do this – I’m in Seattle for a consulting job so will not have much time.  I’ll repost some blog posts that I have done in the past that have not had many views. In giving myself and readers some space, I hope to rejuvenate both! Thanks for tuning into this blog! I appreciate it more than you know.