Avis at She Reads and Reads recently posted about wanting to read negative reviews. As I read the other comments and left one of my own, I started thinking back to the last time I posted a negative review. It’s been a while.
I think I’ve figured out why that’s the case. I used to finish every single book I started. I hated leaving a book unfinished, no matter how hard it was to make myself plod through it. Not any more. As I’ve gotten older, and my to-read stack and list have gotten longer and longer, I’m more protective of my reading time. If a book hasn’t grabbed me by page 50 or so, I’ll put it aside. If it was recommended to me by a friend or book blogger whose opinion I respect, I’ll give it another 50 pages. If I’m still not enjoying it, that’s it. I don’t finish it; I return it to the library or pass it on to another blogger who I think might like it better or sell it on Half.com.
I don’t post “did-not-finish” reviews, like I’ve seen on some blogs, but I do keep track of the books I stopped reading on my Read in 2009 page. Here are my “did-not-finish” books so far this year:
Ghost World by Daniel Clowes. I don’t consider myself a prude, but I couldn’t handle the sexual content and dialogue and graphic language, especially from two teenage girls.
Ice Haven by Daniel Clowes. I had this on my Graphic Novels Challenge list. Too bad I didn’t realize this was the same author as the previous book. Not my taste.
Land of Marvels by Barry Unsworth. I tried extra hard with this one, since I requested a review copy, but could only make it to page 90. I felt like it was a case of false advertising, though, because it was billed as a historical thriller, and yet by page 90, there was no hint of a mystery or anything thrilling about it. I have read some positive reviews, though, so if you like historical novels about archaeology, you should give it a try.
Collected Poems by Donald Justice. Poetry is an individual thing. I love some poets, don’t love others, and often I can’t even tell you why. The poems in this collection were just okay, and when I realized I was forcing myself to read it, I decided to put it aside.
The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History by John M. Barry. I checked this book out of the library to check some facts on the flu vaccine, and then thought I’d go ahead and read the whole thing, since it’s been on my to-read list for a while. Only problem was, I wasn’t in the mood for a heavy history book right now. I may give this one a try another time.
So, what book did you give up on recently?
Other bookish posts this week:
~ On Monday, I posted my third first lines quiz. These posts have become a fun diversion on Monday afternoons. Look for number four tomorrow.