Book Geek Wednesday: Discussion

I thought I would try something a little different for Book Geek Wednesday this week.

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.

Thoughts?

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About Isabelle

Isabelle is a multi-published author who dabbles in 1950s romance, speculative science fiction, and more recently fantasy and YA. A twenty something dreamer who loves chocolate, romance novels, and heart wrenching movies, Isabelle is most comfortable on stage behind a microphone belting out her favorite karaoke tunes, or curled up in bed with a book and a cup of cocoa on a rainy night. View all posts by Isabelle

5 responses to “Book Geek Wednesday: Discussion

  • Karoline

    I’m very stubborn. Sometimes when I’m halfway and not really liking the book I still keep going. But when I just can’t take it anymore I have no choice but to give it up. I feel bad when I do that sometimes 😛

  • Lisa

    I’m pretty stubborn about it as well. I just don’t like to leave a book unread—even if it’s so I can tell all my friends not to bother reading it. I feel like unless I’ve read it all the way through, I really can’t say much about the book, because who knows if I have stopped too early and just missed out on something great?

    Though really the only place I can remember this happening, really, has been Stephenie Meyer’s The Host, which I really do still hate the first ten chapters of, though I love the rest of the book!

  • Heather S. Ingemar

    I’m of the opinion that life is too short to spend it reading bad fiction. 😛

    Sure, I’ll give books and stories the benefit of the doubt, keep reading just “a few more pages,” but if I can’t get into it, forget it. Time to move on!

    I find I do this more with novels than short stories…

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