Sunday, March 19, 2023

Sunday Salon #12 (The Importance of Timing)

I've struggled with this week's Sunday Salon post. I knew I wanted it to be something about time. I just couldn't decide how 'broad' or 'narrow' a scope I wanted. (Still don't, if I'm honest). I've got two non-related points. 

1) Timing is key. Seriously. The difference between a LOVE this book and HATE this book can all come down to time, time, time. Or circumstances, mood, and time. If you want to try to get specific. Sometimes a book can have all the right ingredients, but it's just a wrong fit--at that time. Is this the case all the time we hate a book? No. It's not that simple. (Never that simple). Sometimes a wrong fit will always be a wrong fit. I can't imagine a time or place or situation where I will ever like let alone love Wuthering Heights. But I think all the elements that can be wrapped up in the word timing can be a huge factor. And it isn't always acknowledged or appreciated that this is so. Yes, everyone can (mostly always) agree that reading is subjective. But they don't allow that timing is sometimes a huge factor and one that is always changing. There have been dozens of cases in my own life where this was so. That is one reason why I think it can sometimes be a GREAT thing to abandon a book, put it aside, wait for a better time. I think it can lead to a fairer consideration of the book. Yes, I'll admit that I don't always. And the very fact that this is entirely impossible in some cases can't be denied. If you are assigned a book in high school (junior high, college, etc.) with a due date, a book that you'll be tested on, a book you'll have to talk about, write about, there are about a dozen reasons why you're more likely to hate it no matter what. True, you could choose NOT to read it, to fake it, to turn to old-school sources like cliff notes or more modern-day sources like the internet. But even if you don't read it--every word, every chapter--you'll end up prejudiced against the book's very existence. Which is one reason why I am so incredibly conflicted when it comes to assigned/required reading in the first place. Books have a way of coming to you in the right way at the right time. Pieces fall into place. Magic happens when the timing is right. 

2) One of my favorite sub-genres is time travel. Anything/everything having to do with time travel, time loops, time slips, etc. If a novel messes around with time--plays with events, plays with consequences--then I'm intrigued. Definitely intrigued enough to check it out. Not always engaged enough to see it through to the end. guessed it...the timing is off. (I jest. Sometimes a book can't be saved by a premise. A great premise doesn't always lead to a great book. The characters, the story, the writing (including the dialogue) there are still too many variables at work. But I would LOVE to hear some recommendations for this genre. My personal all-time favorite would have to be the time travel books by Connie Willis. But I'm always looking to expand my reading in this direction. (I just finished Wrong Time, Wrong Place.)


© 2023 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comment:

Snapdragon said...

There are books that can come at the right time in someone's life. There have been some books I liked but, would have loved if I read them when I was younger.