Have you ever picked up a book, started reading enthusiastically, only to find out fifty pages in that it’s boring/poorly written/slow? This happens to me at least once a month. What do you do when this happens to you? Chug on in the hopes that it will get better? Read something else and come back to it later? Skim to get to the end quickly? Throw it out the window?
I tend to lean toward giving it a chance. Fifty pages is not enough of a taste to abandon a book. (Most of the time. I really, really wish I would have given up on Fifty Shades of Grey after the first fifty pages. Or less.) But what about when you get two hundred pages in and it’s still more awful than seeing your grandmother naked? Unfortunately, I still give it a chance.
My reasoning is this: guilt. I feel extremely guilty for giving up on a book. Especially if I’ve already put the time in to read a couple hundred pages. I’m so close to the end! (Unless it’s The Forgotten Garden, then I’ve got another gazillion pages to go.)
Since I am a writer, I know the hard work that was poured into writing the book (and editing, and editing, and editing…), regardless of whether or not I view it as ‘good’. Beholder’s eye and all that. I always feel that if I just give it a chance, it will change my mind by the end. It has to, right? I mean, they wouldn’t have published it if it didn’t have some semblance of entertainment humming in its pages, right? Wrong!
I can’t think of a book that I didn’t like halfway through that successfully changed my opinion by the end. Not a single one. And the thing is, there are so many books to read (and so many books to write) that I just don’t have time to finish them all. Unfortunately.
So here’s to a future of saying ‘No, Book, you are not good and I will NOT read you!’.
In reality, I’ll probably still keep reading.