Saturday, November 17, 2012

No book left behind

If this post seems familiar, it's because it was originally posted February 2011 on my old blog. NaBloPoMo is kicking my ass today so I'm cheating a little and publishing a post that I imported from my old blog address, but never published.

I used to think I could forgive an author for a bad beginning but not a bad ending.  Like when you've got about 20 pages to go and you start to think "hmm, there are an awful lot of loose ends to get tied up in a pretty bow here."  Then 15 pages, 10, crap, she's running out of time, and last page...are you KIDDING me?  This limp-fish handshake is your ending??  What a betrayal.

Happily, I don't have this experience anymore.  In order to stop being a weapon of massive consumption (yay Lily Allen!), I've started buying only things I love.  Not like.  Love.  This has been great for my finances, and as I was surveying my personal library, which has bloated to over 600 books, I realized I need to start applying this philosophy to my reading habits too.

So now if a book doesn't make me feel like chocolate ice cream's melting across my tongue from beginning to end, I stop reading it.  It's a weird feeling to give up on a book that started off well but is now struggling.  I still feel like I'm doing something sinful, as if I'm opposing No Child Left Behind for books.  The guilt's worth it though.  I don't have much time to read lately, and now that little time is spent happily lost in another world, instead of conscientiously plodding along waiting for a mediocre author to hit his stride.  And I haven't been subjected to a limp-fish ending since.

8 comments:

  1. Ha ha, I re-posted an old post of mine yesterday, as well :) I'm hoping for a better writing frame of mind today!

    I feel the guilt when I stop reading a book, as well. But, man, with life so busy, it is a waste of time. I mean, I wouldn't keep watching a movie or tv show that wasn't holding my interest, so why a book? Recently, I've stopped reading two books because the author kept going when she shouldn't have. The climax happened, and what should have been a small wrap up, continued on and on and on. I think those authors just wanted their books to be longer? Either way, I couldn't keep reading and set them both aside (well, figuratively...they're in my Nook :)

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    1. I give the author about 20 pages and then if I'm still bored, I figure it's not going to get better. Or if I put it down by my night table and completely forget about it. I want to read books that are a treat and I can't wait to get back to them. I have enough chores in my life already.

      Great point about the ending. I don't like overly ambiguous endings or ones that leave major plot points unexplained. I don't think it's clever; it just feels like the author was too lazy to finish the story. On the other hand, there's no need to methodically explain what was behind every single slightly unclear thing that happened either. A *little* mystery is nice.

      NaBloPoMo is killing me! I don't like writing anything just for the sake of posting, so I'm feeling worn out. But I needed a kick start and I tend to have trouble starting a first draft (because I want it to be perfect immediately), so the pressure is good too. I'm glad I'm doing it.

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  2. *** if a book doesn't make me feel like chocolate ice cream's melting across my tongue from beginning to end, I stop reading it**

    I LOoooove that. I believe that.

    Faaaaabulous description. X

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  3. I thought we had a lot of books... I no longer think that after seeing your picture. ;)

    I'm visiting you from the No Rules Weekend hop. :)

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    1. Haha! Those aren't my books, but I bet I could make them look like that if I stacked them up in that small space.

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  4. Wow! U are one tough mama being able to abandon a book half way through but hats off to you, life is too short for a limp handshake ending; I'm so with u there.

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    1. It's taken me a long time to be able to do that, and sometimes I quickly flip through the last few pages just to see what happened, but usually by the time I've decided to give up on a book I just don't care anymore.

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Lend me some sugar!