Of all of my self-inflicted pet-peeves, there are none that bug me more than not completing a book. Once I start it, I want to finish it, only if for no other reason than the joy of relegating the book to the past rather than leaving it to loom in my future like all of the others. Os it takes a lot for me to quit a book mid-read.
Yet that is what I am doing here.
It's not that Cook's book is necessarily bad -- it's a solid survey of the history of ancient Persia -- but I've come to realize that there are other books that I can read on the subject that may be more useful. I have Reza Zargamee to thank in part for this (when I interviewed him he identified a more recent book that I intend to check out), but it doesn't help that Cook's study is just not that engaging. I thought it was the subject matter until I read Zarghamee's biography of Cyrus the Great, which did a pretty good job of establishing a narrative of Cyrus's life and the early history of the Achaemenid empire while filling in some of the details about the institutions of the empire. Clearly the issue for me was on some level with Cook's writing. I would power through, but I suspect my time would be better spent on a more recent study, even if it is one that I have similar issues with.
Now, though, I face a challenge: how to designate my reading status with the book? I am no longer reading it and nor do I have any plans to read it ever, yet to classify it as read seems to be claiming an achievement that I never accomplished. I could just remove it from my shelf, but that doesn't seem like something I want to do either. So, thoughts?