Nice piece here by Nick Hornby on reading. This bit describes an experience familiar to me:
I recently had conversations with two friends, both of whom were reading a very long political biography that had appeared in many of 2005's 'Books of the Year' lists.My children are now grown up and I no longer have a demanding full-time job. But if I try to read a book before going to sleep at night, it'll take me forever, no matter how good and absorbing the book - and I won't remember much of it, because I'll have been falling asleep while reading.
They were struggling. Both of these people are parents - they each, coincidentally, have three children - and both have demanding full-time jobs. And each night, in the few minutes they allowed themselves to read before sleep, they ploughed gamely through a few paragraphs about the (very) early years of a 20th-century world figure.
At the rate of progress they were describing, it would take them many, many months before they finished the book, possibly even decades.
Anyway, the bottom line for Hornby is: 'if you're reading a book that's killing you, put it down and read something else'.