Yes, I'm talking about giving up on books before the end.
I'm thinking I shouldn't have even used the words 'giving up..' in the title of this post - it sounds so negative and defeatist, when I generally don't think I'm doing anything wrong. Or am I? Reading is for enjoyment, pure and simple (unless you count those years of enforced reading lists) and when a books fails to grip I'm surely more than justified in leaving it be and moving onto something else. So why do I feel so guilty?
It recently began thinking about this a lot more because it happened to me with a book by new author. I had read a lot of excellent things about this title and I loved the sound of the premise. But halfway through and I was floundering - it felt repetitive, I was bored with the characters, I really didn't give a rat's arse about any of it anymore. It wasn't the worse book I'd ever read by any means, but it just was not for me at that particular moment in time. And I felt even more guilty about abandoning it than I would have done jumping ship from a title by someone who has sold millions of copies. Should I have given a new author a fair crack of the whip? (gosh there's a lot of questions in this post - I do apologise). I guess the same does for reviewing books by new authors too - I'm always more reluctant to outright criticise them, although I'm guessing that a review on my teeny-tiny blog won't affect their sales too much. But I have no such qualms about being critical of more famous books.
Actually, I always have a few qualms about this sort of thing generally, but that's book blogging for you.
Let's just take a moment to appreciate the word 'qualms'. QUALMS.
Anyway, I think another reason for my guilt stems from being in the midst of attempting to write a book myself. I've only just come to appreciate the amount of time, blood, sweat and tears that goes into the process and to not give a book a decent go shot seems unfair to these efforts.
Does the standing of the author affect your decision on whether to finish a book or not, or do you think we should treat all titles the same?
Have you gone back to a book you previously struggled with and been pleasantly surprised?
Let me know you thoughts on this one...