When you start a book expecting to enjoy it and it just doesn’t capture your imagination, it’s a bibliophile’s dilemma. Do you finish it?
With the exception of set books we’re obliged to read for study or work, I think we all tend to start books we think we’ll enjoy.
What happens when you really don’t like the book at all? When the thought of reading it for hours longer makes you want to hide it in a lost treasure chest… at the bottom of the ocean…
Do you give the book a chance to reel you in? Or do you cast it overboard?
Personally, I usually decide to stick with it for the first couple of chapters and hope that I’ll ‘get’ the book and start enjoying it. Once I’ve got that far though, I usually want to know what’s going to happen. I continue to read and even if I’m not really enjoying it, there comes a point that I then feel too invested in the book to just give up and not finish. I feel like I HAVE to finish it! It invariably takes much longer to read than a book that you’re enjoying and it can become a real chore.
I imagine you to be screaming at your screen, but there’s so many books and so little time! Why? Why would you continue with a book you don’t like?
As a writer I try to analyse these books and figure out what is it about them that is putting me off. Some books can be repetitive. Recently I’ve read a couple of books that are written from several point of views, which although not for everyone, I quite enjoy until each character starts repeating things we’ve already established. Sometimes the characters don’t have any depth or I find it hard to identify with their motives and then the whole book seems a bit forced.
So although it’s a shame when I don’t like the book I usually manage to take something away from each book I read, even if it’s only a stylistic observation. Luckily it doesn’t happen often but when there’s a book that bores me I usually struggle through until the end.
I read at every opportunity anyway! My favourite thing to do on a night-watch on the boat is get stuck into a great book… I have to set an alarm to keep going off though because if it’s a really great book, I might not notice a ship about to hit us!
What about you? Do you finish books you don’t like?