My husband and I were out of town this weekend on a quick trip to St. Louis to see some friends and catch a couple Cardinals games. Since it was a three hour drive (each way!) I got a lot of reading done in the car. I had a little bit of trouble getting into a new book this morning, so it made me start to think about quitting books – you know, setting them aside to either pick up again some other time or just to give up on them completely.
Three or four years ago I would have never quit reading a book in the middle of it. It just wasn’t me. I couldn’t hardly stand to do it, it made me feel like a failure. It made me feel like a bad person. A few years and a few hundred books on my personal shelves later, I realized that I was being silly. Now I have somewhat of a personal “policy” where if a book doesn’t catch my attention by 50-100 pages I’ll set it aside. Sometimes I’ll just set it aside for another day, other books I won’t return to.
This brings me to my current read . I’ve got Ted Dekker’s The Bride Collector from the library. I waited on a wait list for a few months for it. And I’m at page 96 and I don’t like it. It’s times like these that frustrate me. Last year I read BoneMan’s Daughter. A few months ago, I read Burn (that he wrote with Erin Healy). I enjoyed both of those books. So I was really looking forward to this one when I saw it was coming out. I waited patiently for it. And now I’m frustrated with it. So what do I do? Do I suffer through it because I want to like it, or do I set it aside? A few years ago I would have stuck with it and finished it (even if it took me a month to do so). Now, I’m not sure it’s worth it. Without thinking about the fact that this book has to be returned to the library by June 2nd, is it really worth my time to suffer through a book I don’t like before the 100 page mark in order to finish it and potentially be really disappointed by it and write a possibly negative review?
Could this book turn out good? – Possibly.
Is it worth taking the time and risk not liking it? – Probably not.
So my question to you, dear readers – how do you handle “bad” books? [I hate to say bad, because my opinion of a book is not necessarily everyone’s opinion]. What do you do when you encounter a book you want to enjoy soooooo much and yet you just can’t stand to read it? Do you suffer through something or do you give it up?
My opinion? …. Life is way to short to read books that don’t appeal to you! So I’ll take The Bride Collector back to the library. Do I feel guilty? Maybe a little bit. Will I worry about it? Probably not. Might I try this book again sometime in the future? Possibly. But for whatever reason, this book is not working out for me. I’m quitting it.