Tainted Perspectives

Barbara Vey -- November 15th, 2008
Mary Higgins Clark on author
I wasn’t reading a Mary Higgins Clark book, but this is such a nice picture of her on the author’s cruise I attending a few years ago.

I love reading.  It’s my number 1 sport/activity/fun thing to do.  I’ve read while others shopped, while I waited for my kids to ride the roller coaster, even at movie theaters when my friends stayed and watched the movie that I couldn’t take anymore. 

And while I love books, there are very few that I dislike.  I may like some more than others, but that’s personal preference.  Right now I can’t get enough paranormal and historical and if it’s a paranormal/historical, all the better.  I even reread books when the characters become so real to me that I have to visit them again.  Usually I can find something I like in almost every book I pick up.

While I was in the hospital I read 5 books.  I was disappointed in every one of them.  Characters I didn’t like, plot holes a mile wide, boring story lines.  Once I got home I picked up a book by an author I’ve read for years and once again felt that tug in my heart at reading something made me feel good again.  I knew I would be rereading this book.

After I tried to write blurbs about the hospital books and couldn’t think of anything nice to say, I took some time to mull this over.  I wasn’t at my best in the hospital, but was this enough to taint the enjoyment of the book for me or were they just crappy books?  I’ve read some of these authors before and enjoyed their stories.  After all, once I was home, in my own bed, the book I was reading came alive for me.  I was relaxed and felt good. 

Now, I don’t want to return to the hospital to test this theory by reading one of my favorite books there, but I decided to give those 5 books another chance in the future. 

I wonder how many books have gotten bad word of mouth because of the time, place and frame of mind of the reader?  I’ve blogged about my opinions of reviews in the past (and everyone has their own idea of their merits or not), but this was almost like a test case for me. 


I’ve always been of the mind that there is a reader for every book (even if it’s not me) and we are very lucky to have so many to choose from.  Books take me somewhere special and I treasure each one that does that for me.  So here’s to giving second chances.

Bottom Line:  Maybe if I would have had the fancy drink with the little umbrella in it while I was in the hospital, I would have enjoyed the books more.

  

Would you give a book a second chance?
Yes, if I had the time and felt there were circumstances that tainted the first reading.
No, I’m too busy and if I didn’t like the first time, I still won’t like it the second.
Maybe, if I talked to people and they saw something in it that I may have missed.
Other…(answer this in the comments section of the Beyond Her Book Blog)
  

  

14 thoughts on “Tainted Perspectives

  1. Amanda

    This has happened to me with movies too. There are some I hated the first time I saw them, but when I catch them a second time I found I liked it. Who knows why? It could have been anything. Who I was with, how I was feeling, what the weather was like. I can see this happening with a book.

  2. Shari Anton

    Every so often I’ll begin a book, be unable to get into it, put it aside, pick it up two weeks later and become engrossed. I’ve also picked up ‘classics’ I thought were painful while in high school or college and thoroughly enjoyed now. Maturity? Hormones? Mood? I’m just glad I gave the books a second chance.

  3. Trish

    There have been a lot of times when I’ve started a book and just couldn’t get into it. It’s not that it’s been a bad book, it just hasn’t been the right time for me to read it. I knew, at the time, that I was looking for a different kind of read. So back I put that book back in the TBR pile and tried another one. Only after trying a book several times and not being able to enjoy it, have I ever given up on one. And I’ve been known to revisit books I thought I didn’t like, later, after reading or hearing something wonderful about them, to discover I’d missed something in them, myself.

  4. mary s

    Thanks Barb for this thought-provoking blog! I agree that mood, weather, companion etc. can affect me while reading a book or at a movie. Like you & your bloggers, I’m glad I give certain books/movies a 2nd chance!

  5. Missy Taylor

    Right after my grandmaw died one of my top shelf authors came out with a book in her series and I read it and finished it feeling let down. It didn’t have some of the pizzazz her past books had had. I wondered if it was me or if it was the book. Since friends of mine read it I waited to see what they said. One loved it said it was as good as the others. Another said she had a hard time with it also. So I’ll reread it right before the next book comes out to try it again.

  6. CHRISTINE

    I’ve started books and realized I wasn’t in the mood for the genre and those I’ll try again. But sometimes I’ve started books and realized I hate the characters, situations, amount of violence, whatever, and if I don’t think it’s just my mood or situation, I let those go. (Too many books, too little time.) Sometimes an author I’ve read for years will start seeming a little stale but those I really try to give the benefit of the doubt. Also I’ve re-read books (often after years) and realized that time and experience has past them by–some are just dated without any redeeming value and I know that I’ve changed too much to enjoy them again.

  7. Debbie

    I would certainly TRY a book again if I had started it and put it down before. However, if I have read a book and didn’t like it, I would never try to read it again. I have too many books I haven’t read once to read something I didn’t like twice!

  8. Liz Kreger

    Given the era of the books you read while in the hospital, I think that authors have come a long way in writing style. I know that I probably couldn’t read a book written in the 70s or 80s with the same enjoyment that I would a book written more recently. But that’s just me. LOL

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