Giving up on a book

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The other day I had a very strange experience. Like most of you I read a lot; I read great books, good books, mediocre books. I even read down right awful books. I often read a book more than once, I have lost count how many times I have re-read Harry Potter. What I never do until the other day is give up on books. I even read a bad series until the end just to see what happens.

A few weeks ago I started on a book I had been looking forward to reading. It was from a fellow blogger, it had excellent reviews from other bloggers and was the type of book I love. But I hated it, really hated it, I used to dread reading it. I even went back and read some review to try and see what I was missing. In the end I just stopped reading it and moved on to the next one on my list.

I am still confused why I hated it so much when others raved about it. Some of you will be thinking ‘so what!’ As I said before I don’t remember this happening to me before. The book I gave up on is part of a series so I’m going give book 2 a stab just to see if it has the same effect on me, I really hope not, I wanted to like these books.

 

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40 thoughts on “Giving up on a book

  1. I hate it when that happens – so disappointing! A similar thing happened to me with a Terry Pratchett book (Soul Music, if you must know). I have loved Pratchett forever and working in the music industry I was really looking forward to it. But try as I might, I just couldn’t get on with it. And I felt so guilty, because it was Pratchett. I eventually finished it but it was more of a relief than anything. It happens, I suppose.

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      1. I love all the Witches ones and the Watch ones as well. In fact, I have loved most of them – although I wasn’t that fussed by Raising Steam either. Just comes down to personal taste, I reckon. Eric is great… 😉

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  2. The book I gave up on, and which sticks in my head is Saul Bellow’s Herzog. It was prescribed as part of my final year Literature degree. I tried. I just couldn’t. I have never finished it. There have been others that I don’t recall, which says something, I think. Eric, I wouldn’t beat myself up about it except, I suppose that it was from a fellow blogger. That makes it difficult.

    I confess to buying most of my reading material at the airport so that I have something easy to read when I’m travelling. The last one I bought was awful: the storyline didn’t live up to the blurb; I kept on waiting for the “dark secret” to emerge and when it did, it was underwhelming. The storyline was thin and the characters flat. And it was the beginning of a series. Bleh! Not going to even think about the rest. Next trip, I’ll be looking for a “proper” thriller or suspense novel!

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    1. Jeyna. I don’t know you, but I wanted to comment. Apologies for the intrusion. I am with Eric. If I start a book I will finish it. And any true book lover will do the same. Don’t let the comments (or DNF) of a select few readers ruin your experience. Perhaps they are fans of the genre. Some people may just be going through difficult times, thus they could never really concentrate on your work. And worst of all, the days of chivalry, common sense, and good manners are nearly extinct. Everyone wants to be a critic. So, keep writing and trust in your abilities. You write fantasy, I have no doubt you have an audience (perhaps they haven’t found you yet).I will visit your blog as soon as I have a chance. I love talking to writers. Best of luck to you in future endeavors.

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  3. I’m afraid I have given up on books before, although I do try to give a book a reasonable chance first. If it’s fiction, sometimes the problem is that the writer is a bit too graphic or gory for my tastes or the sense of humor is just too different. That’s pretty rare, though, because I tend to avoid buying books like that in the first place. If it’s non-fiction, the reason is usually that I’ve been a bit too ambitious and I’m just not smart enough to understand what’s going on! Anything involving mathematics falls into this category. Sadly, this situation is not as rare as I’d like it to be.

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  4. Don’t give up on other books. Different kind of genres attract different taste. And furthermore, you’ll find that as time goes by, your taste change a little and you may wish to revisit the book again.

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  5. Sometimes, we don’t hate a book for any reason we can name. We just…don’t like it. And some times, we’re the outliers rather than the majority. It’s funny someone mentioned Saul Bellow earlier; I’m the same way about a lot of his writing. I know it’s good to other people. I know people love him. But it’s just not for me.

    Fantasy can be especially like that, I think. It’s one of those genres people come to looking for different things: f’rinstance, I loved The Magicians trilogy, by Lev Grossman. I have a friend who just hates it. We’re both sensible people and we’re both heavy readers. We can even both agree that the book is technically very well written. So what’s the difference there? Something in those books worked for me and didn’t work for him.

    I wouldn’t beat yourself up about it (though I might not mention it to your blogging friend). If this is the first time that’s happened, I’d say you’ve been very lucky! 🙂

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  6. Eric, I am with you. I never give up on a book or its characters. The dilemma you mentioned of a novel from a fellow blogger is troublesome. Some bloggers are probably commenting on a book they never read. Others just want o be nice. My journey to publishing through tradition means has hit a dead end, but i am uncertain if I want to go the self publishing route. At times I think any one can publish a book through self publishing. Sorry, for your experience. More importantly, how are you doing with your fantasy novel. I hope you stay inspired. Take care and thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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    1. Don’t dismiss the self publishing route it has worked for a lot of people. Have you sent your book to an editor, you have some fixable errors that are stopping you get published. I might be wrong it might be a work of genius they just don’t recognise. Remember lot of famous authors had trouble getting published.

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      1. I know. Thanks for the wisdom and advice. I have my true work spotted checked and edited. I am confident it is error-less. The stuff I post on my blog probably is full of gaffs. I am considering seeking help from a real editor in 2016. I have one novel with a can’t miss story, characters, and ending that I think will be big. I will keep trying publishing by conventional means. Not ready to give up yet.

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  7. Maybe this book made you feel not happy, woke a bad memory or bad thoughts. Whatever it was, it was right of you to stop reading this book. Not every book is ment to be read by everyone. It is like shoes. Some fit and some kind of do and some don’t look good and feel wrong when you put them on. Love Odie

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  8. War and Peace is the only book I’ve not got too far into, my head just can’t cope with too many characters, at least that’s my excuse! The last 12-18 months I’ve been reading a lot of books from debut authors and those of bloggers too and lets just say I’m learning to ignore reviews. Must say I read them all right through though, and learnt a lot from them I feel. The thing with bloggers books though is that I don’t feel comfortable writing a review giving 2 and 3 stars so I usually end up not bothering to spare feelings. Thing is though when my first effort appears next year I’d want to hear what readers think, warts and all. Thanks for prompting an interesting discussion.

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  9. I don’t know which blogger or which books /series you were referring to, but these things happen. Not every book is meant for everyone. Sometimes the language is amazing to one person, but annoying to another. Sometimes the story is quite relevant (despite if it’s not your standard fiction), and sometimes that’s hard to move beyond. The key here is that not everyone will love a book. No matter how popular or highly rated it is. Don’t sweat it.

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  10. Each book is different to each reader mate, sometimes a lot of readers follow the same theme, whereas others deviate in their perception, the old story mate, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and so it is with words.
    Cheers.

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