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Booking Through Thursday (11.12.09)

November 12, 2009

Today’s BBT question was suggested by JM:

btt2“Life is too short to read bad books.” I’d always heard that, but I still read books through until the end no matter how bad they were because I had this sense of obligation.

That is, until this week when I tried (really tried) to read a book that is utterly boring and unrealistic. I had to stop reading.

Do you read everything all the way through or do you feel life really is too short to read bad books?

Dear Deb and JM, have you been reading my thoughts? I was mulling over this very question just last night.

Yes, even if I’m not enjoying a book, I have to finish it. I need to know how the story ends and I can’t help but hold out hope that it has to get better at some point. I need to find some redeeming quality. Only once in recent memory have I not finished a book.

However, the book I’ve been reading this past week has, well, been giving me trouble. The main character annoys me. She’s mean to her friends and then whines when her other friends are mean to her. And ugh, don’t get me started on the love interested. His antics make me want to slap her upside the head for thinking he’s oh so dreamy.

The thing is, this book is by an author whom I love. I have so enjoyed her books that I rarely notice that they’re all over 600 pages long. I gobble them up as fast as I can, so I was expecting the same thing from this one. I keep thinking that her charm and wonderfulness will make themselves known soon. Surely they’re waiting for me just around the next page. No, they’re not there? The next chapter maybe?

I’m currently over 300 pages into it. It’s slow going because I can only read about 10-15 pages at a time before I’ve had enough and need to put the thing down. I really do not want to consider those 300 pages wasted time, so do I wait out another 300 pages to find out if it gets any better? Or do I just admit that this book is not for me and move on to something else that’s waiting patiently on my shelf, something that I know will be wonderful?

It really seems like I should move on to something else, but I know I’m going to finish it. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Share your answers! Hopefully I can learn something from you, because I’m definitely not helping myself.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. November 12, 2009 11:02 am

    You’re in a tough spot. Good luck, whatever you choose. Here is mine:

  2. November 12, 2009 11:07 am

    What book? Here is mine

  3. November 12, 2009 11:07 am

    That’s exactly the reason I try never to read long books! Once you’ve invested that much time in a book, you naturally want to stick with it, no matter how boring or annoying it is. Hope your book gets better as it goes along!

  4. November 12, 2009 11:47 am

    that’s how Breaking Dawn, the 4th book in the Twilight series was for me. The first 100 or so pages was great but the last 500 or so I just about died. There’s been a few in book club I’ve had to force myself to read so that I could participate in the discussion.

  5. November 12, 2009 1:00 pm

    Now I’m wondering what book you’re talking about!

    As I said in my BTT post, I do read bad books so I can review them… but it’s not always easy. I had a terrible time getting through Wicked Lovely (it took me months) and Breaking Dawn (it was just so bad, I wanted to hurt myself).

    I wish I’d had that kind of drive to finish a book when I was in school; sadly, even having to write an essay didn’t always make me read the book (I fudged a lot in those years).

  6. November 12, 2009 2:19 pm

    I completely know what you mean! I read White Oleander by Janet Fitch and loved, loved it. Then I her follow-up book Paint It Black and I could not finish it. It was awful! I was so disappointed and I felt like I owed it to Fitch to complete it, but I was disgusted by the main character that I couldn’t.

  7. November 12, 2009 4:05 pm

    Hmmm… most of the time, if I start reading a book and I hate it, I’ll go to the ending to see if it turned out any good :) But I have put down really bad books before without looking at the ending.

  8. November 13, 2009 6:31 am

    i posted about this very topic not too long ago–i called it ‘breaking up with books’…but i CANNOT do it. i can’t quit a book no matter how bad it is. i’m so stubborn and OCD that i have to finish everything i start…

    i really should quit bad books but it makes me feel like, well, a quitter. lol.

  9. November 13, 2009 6:36 am

    I experienced the same thing with Deveraux’s Secrets. I thought, since it’s a Deveraux, it would be good, but it did not meet my expectations!

  10. November 13, 2009 8:14 am

    It’s possible for a favorite author to write something that doesn’t click with you. It’s okay to put the book aside unfinished. My post is here.

  11. November 13, 2009 10:15 am

    Update on the bad book situation: I’m so glad I decided to stick with it, because right after I wrote this post there was a turning point in the book – and now I can’t put it down! Crazy, right?

    Alayne – Turns out continuing with it was a good choice!

    Bluestocking – Hehe, a Marian Keyes book. I’ll hopefully have the full review posted soon :)

    JLS Hall – It’s true, long books can be quite the commitment. I try to limit the ones I read to books that I’m positive will be good. Sometimes it doesn’t quite work out that way, though ;)

    kaye – I remember feeling the same way with Breaking Dawn.

    La Coccinelle – I definitely did not feel this need to finish books when I was in school. I wish I had, too!

    Tracie Yule – That does sound really disappointing.

    Priya – Ha! I did that with this book. Well, I didn’t look at the end, but I did flip a good chuck further in the book to see if the same thing was still going on. Luckily, it wasn’t, which is what made me continue :)

    nat – I totally get that! I most definitely feel the need to finish any book I start. Even with the one book I didn’t finish, it still shocks me that I was able to return it to the library unfinished.

    cutlex – So disappointing when that happens!

    Pussreboots – True, but it feels so disappointing to not enjoy something by an author you’ve otherwise really liked.

  12. November 14, 2009 5:34 am

    I was going to ask what book, bit it somewhat seems to be answered above. :) So I will just have to wait to fully figure it out when you write your review! :)

  13. November 18, 2009 7:12 pm

    I guess I do persevere and finish books. A lot of times, it has been worth the effort.

    Very rarely have I encountered a book that was completely rubbish.

    I do take care to choose the books I read, rather than start on something that I know I am not going to find anything that resonates with me.


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