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Books & Reading In General > Reading Books You Don't Enjoy

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message 1: by Ruby , Mistress of Chaos (last edited Jun 11, 2012 09:01PM) (new)

Ruby  Tombstone Lives! (rubytombstone) | 3260 comments Mod
Something I often hear on GR is "Life's too short for bad books." I know a lot of people are perfectly happy to put down a book if they're not getting into it, and just jump into the next one.

On first instinct, I tended to agree with that, but then I think of all the great books I've read that turned around in the second half. In fact there are quite a few where the beginning of the book was engineered that way, so that the end of the book changes your perception of the beginning.

At the moment I'm reading a book as part of a challenge. It was assigned to me, and is something I would never in a million years have chosen for myself. And I seriously dislike it. At the same time though, by forcing myself to read it, I've still learned a few things from it. And because I don't like it, I've been forced to think about what it is that I don't like about it for the review, which has also been a good experience.

So my question is, would you read a book you didn't enjoy simply for what you DO get out of it?

This isn't idle conversation, by the way. I'm thinking about setting up some group challenge-type-activities and I'd be keen to see how far people would be willing to be pushed. For example, what if we set up a purely EEEEEEVIL challenge where people dared you to read a book you don't want to....?


message 2: by Derek (new)

Derek (derek_broughton) | 782 comments I said "Life's too short to read bad books" long before GoodReads. There are a few million books I want to read, and I'm having a hard enough time just keeping up with my plan to read 120 of them this year (Riddley Walker isn't helping!).

Your question doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me, though. I won't read a book simply for what I might get out of it. If it's not interesting me, I'm not getting anything out of it, and I'll move on. Unless somebody is making me read it...


message 3: by Michele (last edited Jun 12, 2012 09:14AM) (new)

Michele Brenton (banana_the_poet) | 8 comments In the olden days of my childhood books were expensive and there weren't all that many to choose from. I got given books as gifts as I was known as a bookworm. I read every single book I was given from cover to cover. I also read every single book owned by my Mum from cover to cover.

I started aged two/three - when I found her horror books lying around. So reading has always been an addiction for me and I'm not sure I bothered about making any value judgements at that age - I just wanted to find out new things.

Until the self pub revolution I had never met a book I couldn't read all the way through eventually.

I've also studied a number of very dry subjects which required a LOT of reading - often of the sort written by people who wanted to convince readers of the humungous size of their massive intellect by writing paragraph after paragraph of impregnable text.

I have developed a number of techniques for ploughing through and getting what I can out of books which aren't easy reads.

But these days I draw the line at bad grammar, typos and fiction books that bring nothing new to the table.

I can read a book I'm not keen on, but just because I can doesn't mean I should. I will if I've been encouraged to do so by someone I trust and if they say I will get something out of it to make it worthwhile.

As a writer I try to avoid badly written work in case the bad habits rub off.


message 4: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (youratlass) Personally I try to finish what I start. Thankfully I am a fast reader so it is very rare that I will set a book down and not pick it back up.

I am challenging myself to make it the whole way through the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list (all three versions) and there are books on there I do not want to read.

One of the books I set down (with every intention of eventually finishing it) was The Elegance of the Hedgehog. I did not enjoy the first 75 pages and I could not force myself to pick it back up but I knew that it was a book I wanted to read because someone I knew and trusted said it was her favorite book. After nearly a year it came up as the group read in one of my GR groups so I started it over and ended up enjoying it. Plus it is another book down on the list!

Just this weekend I finished a book I hated, American Psycho. I felt transported into the mind of a psycho and was not especially pleased with the experience. But it is another book to be marked off the list. I do wish that there weren't any more Bret Easton Ellis books on the list.


message 5: by Julissa (last edited Jun 12, 2012 09:35AM) (new)

Julissa (ta2kitty) I agree with Ruby that sometimes the book does get better in the second half. Sometimes it doesn't. If I'm just reading for fun and the book has a terrible writing style or lots of typos, I will give up on it. However, if it's for book club I will force myself to finish it. For example, Reading Lolita in Tehran and http://www.amazon.com/The-Zookeepers-... were two that I forced myself to finish. Both could have been great stories but the writing made it torture to finish.


message 6: by Theo (new)

Theo | 159 comments I love the idea of daring people to read books! If not for a reading challenge, I would never have read The Name of the Rose. While I didn't particularly like it, the thinking I had to do while reading it was a great exercise for my brain, and I ended up appreciating it, if nothing else.


message 7: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Zink | 41 comments I will read almost anything through till the end, with the exception of true trash (badly written). I agree with Ruby. There is something in every book, and you end up learning something new, particularly with classics that are at a different pace and we (I) tend to have less patience for those. I would love a challenge like that! I am off to find that 1001 books list!


message 8: by Ruby , Mistress of Chaos (last edited Jun 12, 2012 08:38PM) (new)

Ruby  Tombstone Lives! (rubytombstone) | 3260 comments Mod
Michele wrote: "In the olden days of my childhood books were expensive and there weren't all that many to choose from. I got given books as gifts as I was known as a bookworm. I read every single book I was given..."

I'm so with you - I had to read whatever I could find too. And I do draw the line at books that are poorly written.


message 9: by Leo (new)

Leo Robertson (leoxrobertson) | 297 comments Some books I've read have grown on me after having read them... the best example would be Ulysses, a book which sometimes feels like it's asking you to give up on every page!

But it's so clever and really funny, and so many great lines from it stay with you :-) If anyone plans on reading it, print the chapter summaries from Wikipedia so you know:
1. What the hell is happening in the story
2. Why the writing style in each chapter is so clever
There's no shame, you're not James Joyce himself!

As for writing that is obviously bad, life is too short. Find out how the story ends (on Wikipedia again) and give up. You'd do the same for a bad movie after all would you not?


message 10: by Emy (new)

Emy | 34 comments I also love the idea of daring people to read things. You could discover some awesome new books that you might not ordinarily read that way. :)

I personally try to finish a book once I've started it. I've only had to give up on two, but they were both for class so I might have enjoyed them more if I hadn't had to read them.

If a book is riddled with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors and is VERY poorly written, I might draw the line. But I've yet to find a book like that that's actually been bad enough to put me off. The writer in my cries at the thought.


message 11: by Derek (new)

Derek (derek_broughton) | 782 comments Emy wrote: "If a book is riddled with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors and is VERY poorly written, I might draw the line. But I've yet to find a book like that that's actually been bad enough to put me off."

You're not downloading indie e-books enough. It only took me a couple of days to run into a book where I couldn't get past page one. I've said it often before, but it bears repeating: if you're self-published, you can't afford not to pay some one to edit your book.

otoh, I'm reading Riddley Walker. Bad spelling, bad grammar: unfortunately it's intentional and very well written. And I have to finish it or Ruby wins...


message 12: by Whitney (new)

Whitney | 1321 comments Mod
I'm in philosophical agreement with this group, bad writing and grammar not worth my time, but difficult books are usually worth the extra effort to press on. I don't encounter the horrible writing so much as I don't read fast enough to download a bunch of unknown indie books, I count on people like Ruby and Derek to weed out the dogs and point out the good ones.

Yes, Ridley Walker, completely worth the effort! There's a section of Cloud Atlas that's inspired by RW, if you want seconds and haven't read Mitchell yet.


message 13: by Emy (new)

Emy | 34 comments Derek wrote: "You're not downloading indie e-books enough. It only took me a couple of days to run into a book where I couldn't get past page one. I've said it often before, but it bears repeating: if you're self-published, you can't afford not to pay some one to edit your book."

Ahh, yes, I've avoided indie e-books so far since I've got a lot to read, but I'm sure I'll come across a few in the future... XD


message 14: by Ruby , Mistress of Chaos (new)

Ruby  Tombstone Lives! (rubytombstone) | 3260 comments Mod
Derek wrote: "otoh, I'm reading Riddley Walker. Bad spelling, bad grammar: unfortunately it's intentional and very well written. And I have to finish it or Ruby wins... "

Bahaha! I feel like I've won either way :)


message 15: by Ruby , Mistress of Chaos (new)

Ruby  Tombstone Lives! (rubytombstone) | 3260 comments Mod
Whitney wrote: "Yes, Ridley Walker, completely worth the effort! There's a section of Cloud Atlas that's inspired by RW, if you want seconds and haven't read Mitchell yet. "

Oooh that's awesome. I have Cloud Atlas on my shelf, so that's good incentive to pick it up.


message 16: by Riona (last edited Jun 13, 2012 09:58PM) (new)

Riona (rionafaith) | 457 comments Whitney wrote: "Yes, Ridley Walker, completely worth the effort! There's a section of Cloud Atlas that's inspired by RW, if you want seconds and haven't read Mitchell yet."

I haven't read Riddley Walker yet, but I know exactly the section of Cloud Atlas you're referring to. That's one of my favorite books and I loved that part, and while I didn't know RW was the inspiration that makes total sense. I'll have to move Riddley Walker further up my to-read list.


message 17: by Mish (new)

Mish (mishm) There are some books that I've tried to read that I just can't get into the prose--Slaughterhouse-Five, for example, and actually The Hobbit was very difficult for me as well. I still haven't tried re-reading The Hobbit. I'm forcing myself through S5, just out of respect to Vonnegut. Hopefully more of this other writing will hook me. But S5 is giving my stubbornness a run for it's money--I'm going to finish the damn book, but it's going to be all uphill.
And I guess after S5 I might as well try The Hobbit again. I could never get into the movies either, funnily enough.


Books in general aren't hard to read, it's just when I run into things like S5 that I get stuck. I'm not sure what about it is difficult--possibly the fact that it jumps around a lot, and possibly because I can't seem to follow the thread of what I've heard it's supposed to be about. It's worse even than Everything is Illuminated--At least EII had story threads it was following, even if it jumped around. S5 just seems to be jumbled up flashbacks and/or flash-forwards. I can't stand it, and it is slowing my reading pace WAY down because of that. Normally 200+ pages I can finish in a couple of hours, max.

Oh well. I'm struggling through. And I WILL triumph!!
When I get back around to reading it again, anyway.


message 18: by Meghan (new)

Meghan | 8 comments I will also force myself to get through a classic (if I can... sometimes a book defeats me), and I'm usually willing to set something aside and retry later.

But sometimes, I find myself coming up with excuses NOT to read... and that strikes me as so out of character for me, that I'll end the relationship immediately. I'm sure it means I miss out, but I won't torture myself.


message 19: by Ruby , Mistress of Chaos (new)

Ruby  Tombstone Lives! (rubytombstone) | 3260 comments Mod
Fiona wrote: "Recently I asked a friend to wrap a book up for me so I couldn't see title, author, cover or anything. It was an interesting experiment I'd like to try again. It's nice not knowing a thing about th..."

That's an interesting idea. I've never thought of trying that. Knowing me, I'd spend more time trying to guess what it was than actually reading the book, but I think it's worth a try sometime.


message 20: by Leo (new)

Leo Robertson (leoxrobertson) | 297 comments Fiona wrote: "If it is something that is neither here nor there I will give it 50 pages."

Also a good idea! Me and my sister recently implemented the 100 page rule, but only as a compromise because I am bad at giving up books... like little papery failures of mine that frown upon me from the shelf so they are D:

Maybe we can reduce the trial page count each year...


message 21: by Ruby , Mistress of Chaos (new)

Ruby  Tombstone Lives! (rubytombstone) | 3260 comments Mod
Derek wrote: "And I have to finish it or Ruby wins... "

On the other hand, since I am the one currently reading the smug, self-congratulatory essays of a woman who proudly describes herself as, "a priggish little pedant who would no more have permitted a rogue trochee to sneak among her perfect iambs than show up in Miss Farrar's class with a smudge on her monogrammed school uniform." ..it's hard to feel like I'm winning anything much!

BTW - I misspelled "pedant" the first time. And it felt GOOD!


message 22: by Frozenwaffle (new)

Frozenwaffle | 163 comments I used to think that it was the worst kind of disrespect not finishing a book, but I came to realize that if the book I'm reading isn't giving back ANYTHING AT ALL, well there really is no point in reading it then!

I don't do it lightly though, there are only a handfulof books I put down and dont intend to give another go. I established I would read at least a third of the book. If by then neither story nor writing style are appealing to me I let it go.

I find that challenge idea very interesting though! Seeing as we are going to recommend each other books that we liked, but arent included in the usual "scope" of the person - A LOUSY book couldnt make it so far as to be recommended, I hope. :P Count me in for this.


message 23: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 19 comments Yes, I will persevere through books that I don't enjoy because of their known significance. For me some are:

All Quiet on the Western Front
Doctor Zhivago
Great Expectations
The Remains of the Day
Even though I didn't particularly enjoy them, I respected them and am glad I read them.

Then there are some that I am simply glad I read just to say I read them but really disliked:
Things Fall Apart
Heart of Darkness
Gulliver's Travels


Finally there are those that I didn't enjoy at first, but ended up loving:
A Happy Marriage by Rafael Yglesias
Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi
Last Night I Dreamed of Peace: The Diary of Dang Thuy Tram by Dang Thuy Tram


message 24: by Nicholas (last edited Jun 14, 2012 02:13PM) (new)

Nicholas (dexkilo) | 87 comments Derek wrote: "You're not downloading indie e-books enough. It only took me a couple of days to run into a book where I couldn't get past page one. I've said it often before, but it bears repeating: if you're self-published, you can't afford not to pay some one to edit your book."

Oh man. I just read THE WORST indie e-novel as part of a challenge. I'm sure there's a new challenger for THE WORST every day, but this one might actually be it. Not only was it in dire need of half-competent editing, but the story sucked horribly and was borderline racist. Certainly xenophobic. I would have stopped after the first page if I it wasn't for the challenge.

At the other end of the spectrum, I'm really glad I made my way through (for example) The Brothers Karamazov.

The point (I guess) is this: I'm all for a "Bossy"-style challenge, but please for the love of Jah don't make me read some terrible e-book that they're apparently letting everyone type these days.


message 25: by Ruby , Mistress of Chaos (new)

Ruby  Tombstone Lives! (rubytombstone) | 3260 comments Mod
Heehee. I think we're all in agreement on the badly typed ebook front!


message 26: by Leo (new)

Leo Robertson (leoxrobertson) | 297 comments Nicole wrote: "Then there are some that I am simply glad I read just to say I read them but really disliked:
Things Fall Apart
Heart of Darkness
Gulliver's Travels."


I really didn't like Heart of Darkness either! How is it possible for a book that is so short to be so tough? My copy had 80 pages and I (seriously) had to have 80 naps because I found it so dull. Had to read it for school D:


message 27: by Whitney (new)

Whitney | 1321 comments Mod
Mish wrote: "when I run into things like S5 that I get stuck. I'm not sure what about it is difficult--possibly the fact that it jumps around a lot, and possibly because I can't seem to follow the thread of what I've heard it's supposed to be about...."

If the jumping is giving you problems, you could try watching the movie first to get an idea of the different times and places so you can focus more on the writing itself. It's actually a pretty good film, and is available on Netflix streaming.

P.S. In case anyone is now tempted to start the whole "Book before movie!" debate, here are a few GR links (out of many) where you can find it already in progress, or driven into the ground as the case may be: book vs movie 1; book vs movie 2; book vs movie 3.


message 28: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 4 comments I read Dan Browns "The lost symbol". I read the other books of this series too. At the beginning I thought it would be good as the other, but then it became more and more boring. It didn't enjoyed to read this but I couldn't lay it away because I constantly thought that it will be better in the next chapter :D So I read it til the end and was sooo disappointed. I'll never read it again...
But this is my oppinion about this topic. you should read books, that are maybe as good as his bigger brothers :D But I would never read a book, when it only got bad ratings... I also wouldn't watch or buy a bad movie :D


message 29: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 19 comments Leo wrote: "Nicole wrote: "Then there are some that I am simply glad I read just to say I read them but really disliked:
Things Fall Apart
Heart of Darkness
Gulliver's Travels."

I really didn't like Heart of ..."


ha ha!!! Yeah, I just didn't get it.


message 30: by Exclusive (new)

Exclusive Rain | 2 comments Book is a book for books. When a book is at stake, fuck the reader and let the book survive. Highly recommended shit sucks. Highly recommend books kinda sucks. Books that are soft spoken by your buddies and those that sometimes "slip-through" from them could be the right informative type (if you have the right friend, right) Everything is not said and done in books. Words are too weak for our brain and imagination. Those books that understand the same thing and exist honestly is the ones we should befriend for life. Clear?


message 31: by Ruby , Mistress of Chaos (new)

Ruby  Tombstone Lives! (rubytombstone) | 3260 comments Mod
Not at all.

So I think we're in agreement that any book challenges we do need to be mindful that nobody wants to read badly written/edited self-published ebooks!

Now to figure out how to organise the challenges. How do we know what the other person would or wouldn't normally read, and what would be a good challenge for them? I found that bit really difficult in the challenge I did..


message 32: by Frozenwaffle (new)

Frozenwaffle | 163 comments Well, we could do it like this: everyone who wants to enter the challenge is paired up randomly, a few days for stalkin*Ahem*studying the "victim" so we can get a clear idea of the kind of reading he/she mostly does or enjoys - then, suggest something completly outside that confort zone.


message 33: by Ruby , Mistress of Chaos (new)

Ruby  Tombstone Lives! (rubytombstone) | 3260 comments Mod
In the one I did, we tried to recommend things we loved and we thought the other person would love, but also something they wouldn't have picked up otherwise.
What I'm thinking for this on is, it's probably best if we don't try to win them over with a book we love, and just stick to challenging them.

BTW - I've just reviewed the book I was challenged to read. While I really did not like the book, I'm still glad I read it. It was a worthwhile experience at the end of the day.
Review here: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...
PS - There is no offence intended to the person who challenged me to read this!


message 34: by Derek (last edited Jun 17, 2012 05:20PM) (new)

Derek (derek_broughton) | 782 comments Mish wrote: "There are some books that I've tried to read that I just can't get into the prose--Slaughterhouse-Five, for example,..."

I just reread that - I know I have read it more than once, but over 30 years ago, probably. I just didn't find it terribly interesting, though I found it an easy read (something like 5 hours start to finish).


message 35: by Mish (new)

Mish (mishm) Whitney wrote: "If the jumping is giving you problems, you could try watching the movie first to get an idea of the different times and places so you.."

No. Not to belittle your idea at all--it's a fairly good one, actually-- but movies take all my imagination out of the story, so it would get boring, even if easier to read.

The other part is that I can't see S5 being a good movie, the little of it that I have read. (Also I don't have Netflix, though that might be changing soon.)


message 36: by Mish (new)

Mish (mishm) Derek wrote: "I just didn't find it terribly interesting, though I found it an easy read.."

Books that bore me are hard for me to keep reading. And that IS half of my problem with S5, too. So.

It's just one of those books I feel like I should read, but it's terrible so far.


message 37: by Ruby , Mistress of Chaos (new)

Ruby  Tombstone Lives! (rubytombstone) | 3260 comments Mod
Let's just try not to get into Slaughterhouse-Five discussions yet. There are a lot of people reading it right now, and we'll be talking about it soon enough!


message 38: by Whitney (new)

Whitney | 1321 comments Mod
Mish wrote: "Whitney wrote: "If the jumping is giving you problems, you could try watching the movie first to get an idea of the different times and places so you.."

No. Not to belittle your idea at all--it's ..."


Someone in the 'group read' thread commented that the movie is incomprehensible if you haven't read the book, so it probably was a terrible idea :-)


message 39: by Mike (new)

Mike Pomery (mikepomery) | 8 comments I found the Illiad very hard to adjust to, but once I did familiarize myself with the style, it was rather interesting.


message 40: by Amashelle (new)

Amashelle I'm sort of in the middle about putting books asside. I have shelves dedicated to books I am two or three chapters into, all with bookmarks (usually reciepts) sticking out of them. I started them, and the story ibegan, but it hasn't pulled me in yet. Now, howerver, I have a better idea of tge style it's written in, and the type of book it is. So, the next time I'm wondering "what should I read next", I have a good idea of what's available.

And yes, there have been books I've started and never finished, with no intention of ever going back, but I generally get at least halfway through before I make that decicion. The Little Shadows by Marina Endicott is a good example. If halfway tgrough the book I'm still having trouble remembering which sister is which, because the characters are so similar, and I don't care what happens to any of the leads, then I can't imagine coming away from the book with any sense of anything. Apathy is my big challenge to overcome when a book isn't grabbing my attention.

As for reading a book I would never pick up... After reading this thread, I almost want to go track down a copy of Heart of Darkness just to see if I agree with you lot on it! I don't think I could read a Nicholas Sparks book, even on a challenge, but I see the benefit of these sorts of reading challenges (I'm currently reading, and loving, The Gods of Gotham, on my boss's insistance - by the way, it has nothing to do with Batman :P).


message 41: by Peter (new)

Peter Idone | 19 comments I can't say I've ever put a book aside and not finish it. I came close on a couple of occaissions but I hung in there and was pleased that I did. One I was reading last year Colin Wilson's The Mind Parasitescame close. I grew bored and put it aside (under a small pile of other books) as I was engaged with a work of non-fiction. Once finished, I took up the Mind Parasites again and was pleased I had. Maybe a time out from a book is all a person needs if it's causing trouble to maintain interest. As for poorly written and edited books...all bets are off.


message 42: by Mish (new)

Mish (mishm) Ruby wrote: "Let's just try not to get into Slaughterhouse-Five discussions yet. There are a lot of people reading it right now, and we'll be talking about it soon enough!"

I guess I'd better finish it off soon then, just so I can participate or at least understand what's going on when the discussion finally starts....


message 43: by Derek (new)

Derek (derek_broughton) | 782 comments Peter wrote: "I can't say I've ever put a book aside and not finish it... Maybe a time out from a book is all a person needs if it's causing trouble to maintain interest."

I just don't see any reason to ever go back to a book I've put aside - there are just far too many new books to check out, to go back to one you were having trouble with. An author has a duty to their readers to entrap them within the first dozen or so pages. If they don't, it's not the reader's fault, and you don't owe them anything.

Amashelle wrote: "As for reading a book I would never pick up... After reading this thread, I almost want to go track down a copy of Heart of Darkness just to see if I agree with you lot on it!"

I actually enjoyed Heart of Darkness, though I wouldn't call it a favorite, and don't get the hype about it.


message 44: by Ruby , Mistress of Chaos (last edited Jun 25, 2012 04:16AM) (new)

Ruby  Tombstone Lives! (rubytombstone) | 3260 comments Mod
Derek wrote: "An author has a duty to their readers to entrap them within the first dozen or so pages. If they don't, it's not the reader's fault, and you don't owe them anything.a..."

Do they? I've never seen that rule! I don't think a book has to do that at all. There are plenty of different styles of book, and it's fine by me if some unfold slowly, or flip everything on its head 80% through. There are a lot of books I've loved that hadn't come close to revealing themselves at the 12 page mark. I read on because I owe it myself, not the author.

Amashelle wrote: "(I'm currently reading, and loving, The Gods of Gotham, on my boss's insistance - by the way, it has nothing to do with Batman :P).
..."


Thanks for that. Someone I'm following just reviewed it glowingly. It's not my usual sort of thing at all, but I'd give it a go on the strength of that review!


message 45: by Derek (new)

Derek (derek_broughton) | 782 comments Ruby wrote: "Derek wrote: "An author has a duty to their readers to entrap them within the first dozen or so pages. If they don't, it's not the reader's fault, and you don't owe them anything..."

Do they? I've never seen that rule!"


Well, perhaps not, but my point is that there's an implicit contract between author and reader, and both sides have to deliver. I literally cannot understand how some feel that
it's "the worst kind of disrespect" to not finish a book. If you can't stand it, the author has not fulfilled his or her end of the bargain. It's disrespectful not to go into the book with the intent of getting something out of it - whether it's education, enjoyment or something else - but I don't believe it's disrespectful to decide it's not delivering on that promise as early as the first page.


message 46: by Whitney (last edited Jun 25, 2012 04:24PM) (new)

Whitney | 1321 comments Mod
Derek wrote: "If you can't stand it, the author has not fulfilled his or her end of the bargain...."

I have to disagree with this, too. I'm not sure where this idea of every writer being required to deliver a certain level of entertainment to every reader came from, because it's not applied anywhere else.

I don't want to do jigsaw puzzles with 5000 pieces, misleading shapes, and nearly identical pieces. But just because it doesn't grab me doesn't mean the puzzle maker has broken some implicit bargain, it just means he made it for someone who wants a different challenge than I do.

P.S. I'm not arguing that there's something wrong with deciding a book is not for you on the first, or fiftieth, or five-hundreth page. It's your time, you get to decide what to do with it.


message 47: by Derek (new)

Derek (derek_broughton) | 782 comments Whitney wrote: "Derek wrote: "If you can't stand it, the author has not fulfilled his or her end of the bargain...."

I have to disagree with this, too. I'm not sure where this idea of every writer being required ..."


That's not what I'm saying - I'm saying it's _exactly_ like a contract. A contract requires both sides get something. If both sides don't get something, there can be no contract in law, and if both the reader and the author don't get something out of their "contract", it's void, and you just don't have to feel an obligation. That doesn't prevent an author from offering the same "contract" to a million readers, and having 999,000 think it's a good deal while a thousand feel the contract's void.


message 48: by Sean C (new)

Sean C Being a high school teacher I am constantly trying to motivate teenagers who are not readers to get through the proscribed novel so I often feel hypocritical when I personally give up on a book if it hasn't grabbed me within the first 150 pages.

I hereby vow, before all GR (or at least those members reading this forum) that I shall never again abandon a book halfway through.

I almost gave up on A Tale of Two Cities halfway through and will be forever grateful I didn't.


message 49: by Powerispower (new)

Powerispower | 5 comments Sometimes I know a book is a great book but it doesn't chime with me so I put it down. It might be that I need more context or need to approach the book with different expectations. I might be reading a fine romance but if I was expecting a crime novel I may not be happy.


message 50: by Derek (new)

Derek (derek_broughton) | 782 comments Ripcat wrote: "Being a high school teacher I am constantly trying to motivate teenagers who are not readers to get through the proscribed novel so I often feel hypocritical when I personally give up on a book if ..."

Well, there are differences between books you _have_ to read, and books you're reading for pleasure.

I think you're wasting your life reading books that haven't grabbed you in the first 150 pages. Though I still owe someone a review for a book I _hated_ in the first 150 pages, so I guess I'd better read it...


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