To finish the book or not?What do you do in this case:
Posted 24 February 2004 - 07:01 PM
How about you all? Does guilt drive you forward, even if you're bored to tears? If the prose sticks in your craw, do you persevere? And better yet - what do you do if a friend gives you a book that they just loved but you can't stand it or it puts you to sleep? :yawn:
Posted 24 February 2004 - 08:52 PM
As for the "recommended by a friend" issue: if it's a casual friend, the subject conveniently never arises. If it's a good friend, I figure our friendship is worth more to both of us than any book, so I go ahead and discuss it with her! Delicately, of course. The last time this happened the friend had actually made a present of the book. So I had to thank her for the present -- it really was a very, very good idea -- while at the same time saying I really didn't agree with the ideas in it. She laughed -- someone else had raised the same objections just a few days previously.
Posted 24 February 2004 - 08:52 PM
Posted 25 February 2004 - 05:03 AM
Forget not reading a book your friends recommended, try not finishing a book your MOM recommends. Oh vey
Posted 25 February 2004 - 09:01 AM
Posted 25 February 2004 - 02:34 PM
Posted 25 February 2004 - 04:05 PM
Your taste can change, too, or sometimes the writers change. I used to grab the latest Philip Roth hot off the presses, but my experience with his recent work is that it's unlikely to enhance my reading pleasure, and so I don't bother. However, I regard that as his fault, not mine.
Posted 25 February 2004 - 04:55 PM
Posted 25 February 2004 - 08:26 PM
Posted 26 February 2004 - 04:18 AM
In principle, however, I fully support the idea of jettisoning a boring book midway.
Posted 26 February 2004 - 08:59 AM
Posted 26 February 2004 - 09:59 AM
If I can get past about page 10, I am determined to finish. Sometimes I "get distracted," though, pick up something else and don't return to the original . . . or haven't yet, anyway.
Posted 26 February 2004 - 01:34 PM
One example of a book that was pure torture to read was Rome, by M. Rostovtzeff. It was translated from Russian, and presumably lost any emotion or feeling or interesting parts on the way. It reads like the most boring history textbook ever, but I still managed to force my way through to the end. I found that once I got used to the bland writing style, I was able to wade through much easier.
Posted 26 February 2004 - 04:28 PM
The only trouble is that now I fear I may be the friend who recommended a book (a different one) that BW's having a hard time reading And it wouldn't even be the same book! :mondieu: So, BW, out with it - I can take it :sweating: I recommend books like crazy and do realize, with good humor, that not everyone's going to be smitten by my favorites.
But back to your question: Do I try to wade through anyhow? It depends, usually, on how long the book is. And yes, I agree that it also depends on whether or not it's in the classics category. Back in my 20's, I struggled with "A Tale of Two Cities" and reread "it was the best of times, it was the worst of times" COUNTLESS times before I got past about page 20. And I ended up adoring the book. But I stuck with it simply BECAUSE it was a classic and I figured that it had enough widespread acclaim - and famous quotes to make it worth my while.
But if a friend has recommended a book, and I'm struggling with it for one reason or another, I'll usually finish it if it's under about 250 pages. If not, I probably won't. I generally allow a book about 100 pages before I'm willing to give up on it. Currently, I'm stuck on "Middlesex". Initially I loved it. I bought it independently but then two good friends commented on how much they loved it and so I steamed ahead, believing that I too would finish and love this book.
Now I'm bogged down somewhere around page 300 and just don't want to bother to go on. I don't know why. It's a fascinating topic, I enjoyed it much of the way through the first quarter but it's just lost its shine along the way. My two friends are mystified - both thought it was exactly the sort of book I'd love.
We're still good friends. And we're still recommending books to each other.
Posted 26 February 2004 - 04:41 PM
If one of the staff, or a beloved customer (adult or child) came back and said, "Well, I didn't think The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle" or anything by Joan Aiken was the best thing they'd ever read (all of my favorite books, in the 1000's by now deserve "the best thing I've ever read" status), I always felt personally hurt.
The good news is I didn't ever blame the person in question, though. It's funny how personal things can be. I couldn't speak to my roommate for weeks when I found out he didn't like Don Quixote. Not cause I was mad, I just always wanted to say, "Why?Why?Why?"
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