And this is hardly the first book that it's taken me a few false starts to get through. Les Misérables took two tries. Little Women took at least three. (Also, it's one of the free public domain books I loaded onto my mother's tablet a few months back, and on my last trip home she told me she was having trouble getting through it. There are a few parts of that book that are a serious slog for the 21st-century reader.) Lord of the Rings took a couple trips to my house before I finished it, although that was more due to all the things I had going on in my life right then that were crowding out my reading time. And even the entire Chronicles of Narnia series was a seven-year adventure of me not being ready for some of the later books even though I loved the early ones--I started them in the 5th grade and didn't finish until a couple months before high school graduation.
More recently, I took Wicked back to the library after my second attempt to read it through. Will I ever pick it up again? Maybe someday, if I'm in the right frame of mind.
I know there are folks who feel that once a book is started, they must finish it, even ones they aren't enjoying. I have too many books on my to-read list to be that person, but if you are one, please hear this: if you're struggling, if you're not enjoying that book, if there are other things you'd like to read right now--it's okay to put that book down. Stick a little bookmark in it and put it back on your shelf to give your brain a break. Write it down somewhere so you remember to go back to it and then take it back to your library. Loan it to a friend who might enjoy it more than you do. The book isn't going away, and it will always be ready for you when you're ready for it.
Those books I mentioned before? Little Women, Les Mis, LOTR, Narnia? They're all all my favourites list now. I've re-read every single one of them, some of them multiple times, and my relationship with those stories is none the worse for my having taken my time to befriend them in the first place. So if I do return Catch-22 still unread, it will be with no regrets and the knowledge that it will come to me again when I'm ready.
What's something you've had to put to one side to await a different season in your life?