Friday, September 2, 2011

I'm the kind of person that always finishes a book.  At least I used to be.  As I've gone deeper and deeper into writing and editing, as I see how many books there are and how many I haven't read I, sometimes, put down books if I find they are poorly written, or predictable. 

It used to be a challenge.  If I started it, I HAD to finish.  (The Engineer thinks I'm just a little OCD. I think he's crazy, I mean has he seen our house lately?)  Even now I usually finish because they must have done something right to get published right?  Each read, good or bad is a learning experience.  Even so, some books I just can't get through. 

I recently read a book that I had downloaded onto my kindle as a free promotion.  The second book in the series had just come out and that was one of the ways they were advertising.  The first chapter was horrible. The people were cliched and over the top.  The voice felt off, and it just wasn't interesting.  It felt the same as everything else on the market.  I was so close to putting it down but gave it one more chapter. As I read on the book did improve, and while I still think there was a lot more the author could have done I enjoyed it.

This is one of the reasons I have a hard time putting books down.  What if it gets better, what if the author redeems himself and I don't know it? Sometimes I read a horrible book just hoping that something changes.  But it makes me wonder, there is a lot of emphasis on good beginnings but maybe, just maybe, it's ok to have a mediocre beginning and still get published.  But how many readers do they loose when people put down the book and don't give them a second chance?

Do you finish books or put them down after a chapter, or page, if you don't like them? 


  1. 99.9% I finish them no matter what, but there's the occasional book that I just can't quite stomach. ; )

  2. I almost always finish a book, if there's something that catches my attention, even if it's a bit boring.

    But I have noticed that my tolerance for 'boring' has dropped over the last few years. Partly, I suspect, because I value my time, partly menopause (short attention span)and partly because I am a writer and know how much effort goes into producing a book so why the hell not make it as damnably good as you possibly can!!!

  3. Widdershins, My tolerance has dropped also. But I know people who will only read the first paragraph to decide whether or not they'll like it.

  4. I rarely drop a book. But I've been getting better at skimming, of late...

  5. Ah, skimming. Nothing wrong with skimming.