Thursday, August 26, 2010

Booking Through Thursday: Giving up

I'd seen the Booking Through Thursday meme around and thought I'd try it out this week.  It's an easy question for me:

If you’re not enjoying a book, will you stop mid-way? Or do you push through to the end? What makes you decide to stop?

Oh, stop!  I often quit books if they are not holding my interest or are downright annoying me. If it's a novel, I will frequently just skip to the end, see if my predictions are correct, and move on to something new.  If it's nonfiction and a topic I am particularly interested in, I may look around in hope of finding something of value. 

There are too many books to waste time on bad ones.

Unless, of course, one is in school and the book is required.  Then you just have to trust the teacher that it is worth reading.  Or, find a teacher who doesn't assign horrid books.  I still have the (mental) scars from forcing myself through The Awakening in American Lit so many years ago.

What makes me stop?  A predictable plot where I can figure out what's going to happen too early on.  Recently I had a book from the library that I could figure out in the first chapter because there were too many clues in the blurb.  No, I'm not that clever.  It was just so obvious!   Cliched writing drives me away.  Too much bleakness, or what I call "family tragedy" books where there is just one horrible thing after another happening. 

It's a little harder to to determine with nonfiction.  If I pick up a nonfiction book it's because the topic interests me.  So, bad writing would be the killer.  Or extraneous information unnecessary to the topic.  Once I started reading a terrific history book that I hoped to pass on to one of my kids.  Then suddenly the author threw in a graphic description of sexual activity that was just gratuitous.   That was the end of that book. 

Check out Booking Through Thursday.


Gramma Ann said...

Oh I agree with you, "There are too many books to waste time on bad ones."

jlshall said...

Yes, it's so annoying when the ending of a book is obvious from the beginning. Sometimes I get suckered into reading the whole thing just to see if the author's going to surprise me and come up with something unexpected. And I hate that!

I had one of those "horrid book" experiences in school, too. Mine was with The Scarlet Letter. Lots of mental scars from that one.

Kristin said...

I agree, too.

Here's my BTT post.

wayside wanderer said...

Stopping is hard for me to do unless the book is really awful, like raunchy or not well written. Sometimes books I don't enjoy very much are the ones that really stick with me or really stretch my thinking.

For example, A Severe Mercy. I have heard about how wonderful this book on grieving was and so my book club read it. We pretty much all agreed that we thought it was a bit strange and we didn't enjoy it much at all. But it has stuck with me all these years. It is a valid book because it is one persons point of view.

Great question!

Kerri said...

I have a hard enough time finishing the ones I enjoy! My reading time gets drawn so far apart I forget and I have to go back..
So absolutely, quit! Why waste time!

gautami tripathy said...

Frankly, I think why should I waste time reading something I don't like when there are so many more to choose from..

Here is my BTT: Giving Up post!