Sunday, May 09, 2010

Sunday Salon: Reading, Read, To Read #19

Happy Sunday! Happy Mother's Day!

Do you finish books you don't care about? Sounds like a silly question doesn't it? I mean why should readers (unless they want to, of course) take the time to finish a book that they don't care about? What do I mean by care? Well, a book should be engaging enough for a reader that they want to know what happens next. Or a reader should care about the characters so much that they want to spend time with them. A book shouldn't leave you with a so what? or is that all? feeling. (And it especially shouldn't leave you thinking why was this published again?)

The thing is if someone asked me for advice, I'd tell them not to waste time reading a book like that. I'd tell them to find a different book, a different author. But I realized recently that I'm not good at following my own advice. I've stuck with books time and time again where I just didn't care. Stuck with books I didn't like. Stuck with books hoping that things would get better. Stuck with books thinking well, it's only a hundred more pages. Or well, it will only take another hour of my time.

So I'm contemplating what it would be like--what it would feel like--to only finish books that I care about. Would that mean I review less books? I don't know. What would it be like if I didn't put so much pressure on myself?

I'm not talking about only reading books I like. Because how I feel doesn't necessarily relate to how engaged I am in the reading process. Some of the books I've disliked in the past have been written in a compelling, engaging way. They've made me think. Even if I didn't like them, I didn't feel that pointless boredom. I'm talking the books where you just don't care at all. This emotionless disinterest. (For example, I didn't "like" Scarlet Letter. A book I read this past week. But for whatever reason I couldn't stop thinking about the book. And I think that shows in my review.)

Here's one example. The Sisters Grimm: The Everafter War. For some reason this book is driving me crazy. I've enjoyed other titles in this series. I have liked these characters before. I've cared before. But this time around. I just don't care. At all. And reading the end (ahead of time) it just makes me frustrated that it's still not over. That this book isn't 'the end.' How many more books will it take for it to be over?! Is it time for me to just let this series go?

Even before I saw this week's Booking Through Thursday topic, I was planning on writing about this today.

What I've Reviewed This Week:

Scarlet Letter. Nathaniel Hawthorne. 1850. 237 pages.
Some Girls Are. Courtney Summers. 2010. January 2010. St. Martins Press. 256 pages.
Fifteen by Beverly Cleary. 1956. HarperCollins. 208 pages.
Runaway. Meg Cabot. 2010. April 2010. Scholastic. 320 pages.
The Princess and the Bear. Mette Ivie Harrison. 2009. 336 pages.
This World We Live In. Susan Beth Pfeffer. 2010. April 2010. Narrated by Emily Bauer. Listening Library. 6 hours, 53 minutes.
The Bookends of the Christian Life. Jerry Bridges and Bob Bevington. 2009. March 2009. Crossway Publishers. 160 pages.
Mission to the Moon. Alan Dyer. 2009. May 2009. Simon & Schuster. 80 pages.
Olympians: Zeus: King of the Gods. George O'Connor. First Second. (Graphic Novel) 80 pages.
Olympians: Athena: Grey-Eyed Goddess. George O'Connor. First Second. (Graphic Novel) 80 pages.
Mirror Mirror: A Book of Reversible Verse. Marilyn Singer. Illustrated by Josee Masse. 2010. Penguin. March 2010. 32 pages.

Currently Reading:

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory. 2009. Simon & Schuster. 432 pages.

Crispin: The End of Time. Avi. 2010. June 2010. HarperCollins. 240 pages.

The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan. 2010. May 2010. Disney Hyperion. 528 pages.

What I Hope To Begin/Finish Soon:

Hester. Paula Reed. 2010. February 2010. St. Martin's Press. 308 pages.

Faery Rebels: Spell Hunter. R.J. Anderson. 2009. April 2009. HarperCollins. 336 pages.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Tina's Blog said...

I've been thinking about being a little more selective about the books I am reading and reading only those I really really am enjoying/want to read. It seems I often will stick with a book just because I feel like I should read it. There are so many books in my stack right now, it would be a lot more fun not to feel so much pressure to read everything I can get my hands on.

Megan said...

I'm trying to break myself of continuing to read books that I just don't care about. It's usually a secondary reason for my calling it quits. For example, I was struggling with the writing of a book I was reading recently. At page one hundred, I stopped and asked myself, "do I really care enough about what happens to continue slogging through this?" The answer was no, and I put it aside. Life's too short, and I have waaay to many books to keep on with one that I don't care about. The problem is, I usually read way too much before I realize that I don't much care what happens, and when you're so near the end, it's hard to just not finish it. So, yeah, the key for me is to actually *figure out* that I don't care before the end is so near that it doesn't matter.