What If You Don't Like the Book?

After reading Sarah's post, it really got me thinking. Earlier this week, I picked up City of Bones by Cassandra Clare; however, after a few pages, I couldn't continue reading it. I'm not sure why, but it just rubbed me the wrong way, and I couldn't get into it.

Texting back and forth with a friend and reading reviews online, I really struggled with what I should do. As a book reviewer, shouldn't I stay the course and finish the books I start and then explain why exactly I disliked the novel? It seems that it would be fair to my readers to have an honest opinion about a book, especially if they are waffling about whether they truly want to read the book. And, I admit from my overly worked sense of guilt, I always feel bad about not finishing a book when I've been looking forward to it. Ha-ha, that doesn't even take into account dropping money for a book!

While I was still in school, I stopped reading books for pleasure. I got so caught up in all of my classes and felt I couldn't devote enough time to my course readings and novels-for-pleasure. After being nearly driven insane, the pleasure books came back into the rotation. At that point, I promised myself that I would not force myself to read something I absolutely disliked. Working towards an English degree, I came across many things I didn't enjoy, but I still had to read them. That being the case, when reading for pleasure, I wondered why I would force myself to endure something I wasn't enjoying. From there on out, whenever a book failed to catch my attention, I put it down. And, whether good or bad, it has stuck.

What do my readers think? What do you do when you encounter a book that just feels like a waste of time? Should you continue reading a book if you aren't enjoying it? If you're a book blogger, do you feel it is your responsibility to present the truth to your followers? What if it is the most terrible thing you have ever read -- the grammar and spelling makes you wonder the age of your author, you constantly question whether the editors really did their job, you wonder if plagiarism and copyright is still enforced, etc.? I would really like to know what you think.

Sinn

4 comments:

  1. Usually I just put a book down if I don't like it. I figure I may not get to all the books I want to read in this lifetime-with the giant TBR pile, and all the books that come out every month, there's just so many! Why waste precious time when you could be reading something amazing?

    On the other hand, I also try to stick around for books that I've been dieing for, or books that I've paid for. If I've been looking forward to reading something for a long time, that means there's something that's grabbed my attention. I keep reading to see if the book gets better and turns out to be everything I expected.

    I was thinking about all the books I haven't finished recently and I thought about maybe mentioning them all together, a sort of combination mini-review, just to let my readers know that I started them, but just couldn't get into them.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You know, I can't say that I see myself as a professional reviewer, but a book blogger, and I review for pleasure, not because I have to. Therefore, I don't force myself to read a book I can't get through. I make a small update about it stating perhaps why I couldn't finish it and why, but more than that I can't give the readers.

    I am a mood reader and therefore if I try to force myself to read, it becomes a chore. What I do with chores it try my hardest not to do them and this is the last thing I want. If this would happen regularly, I don't think I'd be the reader or book blogger I am today. I want to do this because I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey Sinn!
    This is a great question. I've actually been thinking a lot about this lately. Sometimes like you said you just can't get into a book, and sometimes it's just so awful that...well, if you do choose to review, there's no way you can tell the truth w/out coming off as mean :(
    Recently I came up w/an idea for a meme dealing specifically w/the books I just wasn't impressed by and why (still don't know if I'll do it though...) If I did, I think I'd try to keep my comments critical yet constructive and definitely NO flames--even if I absolutely hated it. Thanks for stopping by my blog, and yours looks terrific!!
    Am now following you,
    Ninja Girl

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm always honest with my reviews, but I guess I'm lucky because I don't think I've really come across a book that "wasted my time." There has been a couple in the past though. I wish I didn't read them and picked other books instead, but I always try to think that no book is a waste.

    Even though they sucked.

    ReplyDelete

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    "If you’re a freak like me, Wave your flag! If you’re a freak like me, Get off your ass! It’s our time now, To let it all hang out!" I am a recovering English major, closet bibliophile, breve addicted, zombie lover with a rockabilly and heavy metal fetish.