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Quitting on a Bad Book?

Is it ever okay to give up on a book?

I ask because lately, it seems like I can’t find a book that I want to actually finish reading. Besides the Percy Jackson series, I mean. I’m flying through those with an eagerness that I’ve been missing for a long time.

Maybe I’m just becoming a snobby curmudgeon as I age. But seriously, I’m in the middle of 9 books right now and don’t have the desire to pick up and finish any of them. Some of these are books on bestselling lists and titles that many of my bookish friends are raving about. The others are galley copies of books that also received a lot of hype. They range from YA novels to literary fiction to nonfiction.

Great writing is tough, I get it. It’s why I don’t have a novel of my own on the bookstore shelves yet. I applaud each and every author for their efforts and would have to be a complete idiot to say I could do better. Is it just that the wrong books are finding me? Do I need to go through a phase where I pull back from modern fiction and only read the classics? Should I stick only to the authors I trust for awhile?

Do I need to struggle through the story no matter what? I hated Girl with the Dragon Tattoo when I first started reading. I had to get 200 pages deep before the story captivated me. All of the writing advice I’ve ever received said to start out strong and fast paced. Is this the exception, or the rule?

I realize this is mostly rambling and that I’ll still probably read whatever book is thrown at me, but still. It’s frustrating. Am I an awful human being for giving up, possibly too quickly, or do I need to whip out the “life is too short” cliche?

Categories: Book Reviews

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Alyssa Pierce

2 replies

  1. I go through phases like this as well where I can’t find anything to read and end up rereading Harry Potter for the millionth time. I seem to have nailed this problem though by only reading classics. The best thing about them is that one doesn’t HAVE to read them. They’re not on a best selling list anywhere. A friend didn’t write them. No one thinks about them anymore unless you’re studying English and then only in reference to something else. They sit on shelves with their prissy covers making comments about a world that no longer exists. And the writing is so good that one can’t possible live up to it, so why bother. That’s why they’re “classics” after all. So with the pressure off, it’s easy to finish them! As for your other unfinished books – ditch them without guilt!

    1. I love the classics. I see so many debates about how we need to ditch them for more modern writing, but there’s something so magical about them that I could never give up. I’m planning on going on a classic binge this summer. The other books have already been ditched, sans guilt!

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