"No one can be lonely who has a book for company." ~ Nelle Reagan

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Join the Conversation: What Do You Do If A Book Doesn't Hold Your Attention?

So, here's the problem.  I've been reading a couple books lately that just don't have sustained reading power.  You know the type.  A dry opening, numerous characters (or few), a story that drags on or one that is filled with profanity, guile and lewdness.  Do you get my meaning?

Facing this conundrum, trying without success to read two best-selling books, one of which is nominated for a prize or two, I've reached the point where they better improve very soon or they are about to receive the proverbial "toss over the shoulder."

What do you do?  How many pages or chapters do you give a book before you declare it a waste of time.  Reading should be enjoyable after all, right?  That's my purpose in reading:  to find enjoyment, enlightenment, entertainment.  However, I am finding none of the above with either of these books.  I've even set one of them aside to read two other books before returning to it to see if there is any promise there that I overlooked.

Friends and co-workers have suggested that time is too short to read something I don't enjoy.  That if it doesn't captivate me by chapter five, then give up.  If I have repeatedly picked it up, put it down, tried again and again; then it's a lost cause.  Another told me to read only the last few paragraphs of each chapter and I would get the general gist of the book without having to read all the nitty gritty that is like a dust storm irritating my eyes and clogging my respiration. (I took liberty here.)

Do  you have a rule of thumb when reading books to be reviewed in a virtual tour?  Do you read them regardless of the enjoyment factor?  I know some books better suit one person than another and perhaps these are a couple of those.  Any ideas?


  1. This is the main reason why I don't accept review copies - because if I don't like them, Iäm not sure how to break it to the author.

    However, I try to finish most books I read. Yes, I know that time is precious, but I always remind myself of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickes, which was a chore for me (as all his books seem to be) but when I got to those last couple of sentences it was well worth it.

    SO worth it.

    Having said that, the only book I've abandonned in the past couple of years is Junot Diaz - The Wonderous life of Oscar Wao. Everything about it rubbed me the wrong way; the slang, the footnotes, the conversations, the offending language - NO! I can stand a boring story but I can't stand boring language/grammar.

  2. Dear FBT, thank you for keeping the conversation going! I understand why fewer and fewer reviewers accept unsolicited books for review. There are so many books and so little time, that I like to reserve my time for the books that attract my attention first.

    Boring, lengthy drawn out story lines lose me almost every time. I also find it impossible to read a novel or any book for that matter that contains a lot of profanity, explicit sex, or graphic violence. That's just not for me.

  3. I have a few books still lying around since years, as I didn't get into more than a few pages. Sometimes books received for review are those that aren't my type of books (I do check before, but sometimes you don't know) and so I have to read them extra carefully, despite not feeling that amazing about it, just so I'd be able to give it a fair review :|

    And yes! The same goes for me too: too much violence, graphic, sadness, or crime don't work for me. Add mushy romance too.


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