I wanted to talk about what you-the readers- do when for some reason or another, you cannot get through a book. There are of course a million reasons why this might be happen. You might lead busy, active lives which leave little time for reading. These active lives might leave you too tired at night to get past a few pages at a time. You may be distracted, thinking about that job interview or that boy who works at the coffee shop. You might not be used to the genre or the voice (I always have to readjust when reading contemporaries, because I’m just NOT a contemporary kind of gal). The book may not be what you expected. Or… in the worst case scenario, it’s just not as interesting as you’d hoped.
What do you do? Do you continue to read or do you consider it a lost cause?
I’m someone who feels a certain obligation to a book once I’ve started it. It’s very difficult for me to just put it down and say forget it, not worth it. In fact, I can tell you how many times in my entire life that’s happened (3). It’s a rare occurence. But what if, despite your best intentions, you can’t seem to get through the book?
My suggestion: try, try, and try again. Books are such a personal thing. Often, their impact on us have to do with our own mood and head place. And often, a writer is setting something major up, and we just need to get past that ‘build-up’ to get to the good part.
This happened to me recently. I tried reading The Luxe by Anna Godbersen (I know, not FANTASY! But historical YA tends to create worlds of its own as well) and could NOT for the life of me get past the first chapter. I kept falling asleep.
A friend of mine raved about it left and right and I thought, am I missing something? So I tried again, and again. It took me 3 times and really pushing through that first chapter. Boy am I glad I did. This book was fantastic, and the characters were so memorable. But it just took me a while to really get into the voice and the time period.
The second time this happened to me, I wasn’t so lucky. I kept struggling with A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray, which I reviewed, and as you see, I wasn’t thrilled with it. But, not every book is going to be a home run.
I guess my point is, don’t give up on it, if you’re having a hard time getting through it. You may find it’s a treasure in disguise.