Last entry, I mentioned that I was reading a book that was pretty awful. I wondered why I kept on reading it. I think I was hooked just enough in the story to keep going. Last night that all changed. I found myself skimming and skipping pages. Time to cast that crummy book aside; so I did.
Some people really get upset when I mention that I start books and don’t finish them. They are folks who are held prisioner by bad literature. That’s too bad since painful reading may turn them into nonreaders. They start books and keep on plugging awat, even though the book has no redeeming qualities and worse they aren’t enjoying it. Now, I do believe that you should give a book a chance. Something about it attracted you so that you picked it up and started reading. Some books are slow starters and don’t get going for a chapter or two. Nancy Pearl , she of Book Lust fame, a prodigious reader and recommender of books, uses this guideline for when to give up. She suggests that you should subtract your age from 100 and read to that page. If the book hasn’t captured you by then, put it down.
Just because you put a book down doesn’t mean it is forever banished from your bedside table (That’s where I keep the books I am reading because one of my very favorite, life long pleasures is to read in bed.) I often pick up discarded books week or even years later and read them with relish. Maybe it wasn’t the book, maybe it was me. I may not have been ready for the book at the time I tried it earlier. Of course, there are lots of just plain awful books out there. I can’t figure out how some books got published. I’m not taking about taste. I’m talking about poor writing and worse editing.
I don’t know if I would religate Aunt Diminty to the trash heap. The series is, after all, just light fiction, meant solely to entertain. Since the series goes on and on, I must assume that a fair number of people enjoy the books and keep on buying them. I don’t think I will ever again be among them. There are just too many really enjoyable books waiting out there for me to find and read them.