Some Thoughts on Reading

I have a confession to make. Last week, I gave up on a book* I was reading.

This is practically unheard-of for me. I mean, I’ve given up on books before, but they were usually random books I picked up with no knowledge of the author – and even then, my Type A personality usually demands I read them through to the very end. (Oh, and A Storm of Swords, which I put down after the red wedding because I couldn’t handle any more fiction-induced heartache.)

But this book came highly recommended (4.5 stars on Goodreads out of over ten thousand reviews!) Not only that, but on the surface, it was a book I should have liked. A book I wanted to like.

But, with my reading time limited by my concussion, I couldn’t bring myself to keep going with a book I just wasn’t that into. It’s not like the story was terrible, or anything, I just couldn’t connect to the character.

Now, if you’re a writer, those words probably sound eerily familiar. They’re a common refrain in rejection letters, along with “this is a very subjective business” and “it’s just not a good fit for me.”

And this is why you should query/submit widely. Because this really *is* a subjective business, and not everyone is going to enjoy every story. Lots of best sellers were rejected before they became hits – and they still don’t have universal appeal.

But the most important thing is to keep trying. Keep putting your work out there, and hopefully one day you’ll find the agent/editor/reader who is the right fit for your book. Or, at least, that’s what I’m trying to tell myself as I get ready to go on sub with my MG.

What about you? Ever given up partway through a book, or do you stick it out to the end? Ever read something popular and wondered what all the hype was about? Tell me about it in the comments.

 

*No, I’m not telling you which book, because, honestly, I’m kind of embarrassed I didn’t like it. Also, the world of kidlit is small, and I don’t want to step on any toes.

 

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4 comments

  1. I used to try to plow through every book, but now I will stop partway if I’m not hooked on the story or the character problem. Sometimes they are books that have been raved about. But there are so many books out there to read, and my time seems too valuable for me to spend reading something I don’t really enjoy. (I can learn from books I like just as well as ones I don’t).

    But, I don’t list ones I haven’t finished on my blog list or on Goodreads — I still appreciate all the hard work an author and publication team puts in, even if it’s not my ‘cup of tea’.

    • I agree, and it’s why I didn’t want to name this one. I’ve analyzed what I didn’t like about it, and realized in this case, it’s all about personal taste – and I don’t think the author should be punished/penalized for that. 😀

  2. I gave up on a few books recently and I hate doing that. I try to stick it out, but I just couldn’t do finish. I agree with Andrea. I don’t have much free reading time so if it’s not for me, I have to move on, even if it’s an author I really like.

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