Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Life's too short for a long, mediocre read

I'm not a big reader.  I'm not a very fast reader.   I've had periods of my life when I gobble up a series, but many years of literary indifference and tiring from the written word.  That being said, I rarely give up on a book.   Why ?   Perhaps I feel it's disrespectful to the author.  There was something that attracted me to the book in the first place, maybe it will get better, maybe I should give it a real chance, maybe I'm not settled into the writing style yet.  So many times I persevere through a mediocre read, ending up perhaps with a feeling of accomplishment, but far from satisfaction, nor any gain of knowledge or insight and maybe not even that entertained.   

I occasionally pick up a book that my wife has read for one of her book clubs.  Some turn out to be very good, while others I start, never formally give up on, and they end up being added to the pile of "I'll read it some day" books.  Recently I enjoyed a book called This Book Will Save Your Life by A. M. Homes.   So much so, that I thought I'd try some of her other novels.  I signed into the library website and easily found a couple of titles and reserved them.   They quickly (perhaps too quickly) showed up at my local library for pickup.  I picked up Music for Torching and plodded thought it for a while but felt I wasn't really into it.  I started May We Be Forgiven which had an interesting premise, but again, couldn't get into it.  

For some people they simply stick with writers they love.  I've had periods of my life where I have focused on one writer such as Steven King, Lawrence Sanders, Clive Barker and Robert J Sawyer.  But I prefer to move around the genres a little more these days, but the risk is that I won't find something that works for me.

So, Ms. Homes, please don't take it personally, I'm sure a major part of the problem is me.  But I think it's sensible that if I'm not enjoying my current read, I'd like to save a few hours of my life and move on.  So, for me, I think it's ok to give up on a book, life's too short for reading things that isn't grabbing my attention and filling up my entertainment tank.

I find that downloading book samples is a good way to see if you will actually enjoy a book.  I had a little time to spare the other day and browsed around Indigo and picked up a few books that caught my attention.  I noted their titles, then that evening I did a little more research on the books at home and downloaded a sample of Time and Again by Jack Finney.  I quickly got into this classic time-travel story and couldn't wait for a online order and popped back to Indigo to buy the book at full price.  Loving it, review to come.

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