I am currently reading a book I’m having a hard time getting into. I’ve already read over 100 pages and it’s taken me 2 weeks. I’m trying to stick to it because I feel like maybe it’s me and not the book. Feeling frustrated, I threw it out on Twitter by saying, “Fighting my way through a book & feel awful about it. A book should grab you & make you not want to do anything else but finish it.”
Proving the power of Twitter, Dan Blank retweeted what I said and one of his followers contacted me. Porter Anderson asked, “With all respect, I wonder if the reader doesn’t share some responsibility to weather a difficult passage? Isn’t it a dialogue?”
This got me thinking about a dialogue between an author and the reader. As a reader, I always thought it was one sided. The author wrote for me and I really didn’t have any obligation to the author other than to enjoy the book. Even though I’ve always tried to finish all the books I started, I’ve found that now that I received so many to read and write about, I’m a little pickier about what I spend my time reading.
I always try to give new authors a look and a chance to prove themselves to me. While it’s not possible for me to love every book I read, I always try to keep an open mind. I’ve always subscribed to the theory that there is a reader for every book and offer the books I can’t finish to another reader to enjoy. Sometimes it works for the best, sometimes it doesn’t.
I can remember starting Outlander by Diana Gabaldon four times before I finally got into it and then I was hooked. It remains one of my favorites. I’m grateful for all the good things said about it that made me try time and time again.
While I’m struggling with this book, I’ll keep at it. I may slip a book in between, but I really have high hopes for this author. I’ll keep the dialog open and hope to find the diamond in the rough, but how far is enough before it’s ok to give up? Are there any books that you had to start several times before finally finishing and then were glad you did? Or do you just feel like you’re time to too valuable to waste on something you aren’t enjoying?
Bottom Line: “When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for so long in the first place.” ~ Unknown