We are trained from a young age to finish things we start. This carries through all areas of our life but especially so with books. For some reason, putting a book down because we don’t like it is an incredibly hard thing to do.
Of course, sometimes it is not the book but the where we are mentally and emotionally that affects our view of a book.
“Just remember that sometimes the way you think about a person isn’t the way they actually are.”
I have been taking a break from reading. This is not intentional, I just don’t seem to have any inclination to sit down and read. Did you just gasp in horror? I would agree with you. I hope (and try and convince myself) that every reader takes a break every now and then. When I am on vacation, I am such a binge reader that perhaps I was due for a break. On the other hand, that was over a month ago and here I am.
I have started four books during this period and I have walked away from them. Yes, I could not find it in me to finish these books. Easily, it is my mood. I have talked before about how where you are in your life can influence your opinion of a book. For example, my love of Lillian Hellman’s Pentimento did not stand the test of time. When I re-read it 10 years after my original reading of it, I didn’t like it. So moving forward on the premise that perhaps my problem with these books is me and not the author, I will tell you the four books and why I stopped reading them.
The first is a new release that is getting some splashy press. Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum was my first unsuccessful read. I read 2 percent of this book. (Yes, 2 percent – eReaders measure in percent not pages) The book starts with the main character talking about her terrible marriage, her loveless affair and her disdainful mother in law. Despite the pretty flowers on the cover, I felt just like the main character’s world was drab. I felt like the book took place in a grey sky, cinder block town. Now this book is getting a lot of buzz so as with the book The Quick, I may be in the minority in not liking it.
“If you don’t like what you are doing then don’t do it.”
I then started a book by a favorite author. I was happy to see that there was a Liane Moriarty book that I had not read. So, I was ready to dive into Three Wishes. This time I got 38 percent into the book before I admitted that I just didn’t care about the characters. There was something missing. Since I have found all the other books that I have read by Liane Moriarty enjoyable, (I LOVED What Alice Forgot) I was disappointed but not enough to see if the book got better over time. It is a story about a set of triplets. There is a scene at the beginning where the triples are in a restaurant celebrating their 30th birthdays. They get into a fight and end up in the hospital. The scene was at the very beginning of the story and seemed pivotal but I was not sure which triplet played which role in the fight as the story progressed. I thought of going back to re-read that section but I was not that interested.
“When I’m really into a novel, I’m seeing the world differently during that time— not just for the hour or so in the day when I get to read. I’m actually walking around in a haze, spellbound by the book and looking at everything through a different prism.”
When I was having a bit of monkey brain* the other day, I thought that maybe getting and starting a book by one of my favorite popcorn authors would be a help. So I went online and purchased Reflections of Yesterday by Debbie Macomber. I had hopes of finding a way to settle down and get back to my reading life. This time I made it 55 percent through the book before I just didn’t care enough to go on. There is a love triangle that starts at the beginning of the story and really, I just didn’t care. There was just not enough there in the plot to keep me entertained. I kept looking to see how long this could go on – not a good sign.
I had wanted to read The Rosie Project. I have heard really good things about it. So, when I thought it became available on one of my free sites, I grabbed it. EXCEPT I MADE A MISTAKE. The book that I “grabbed” was The Rosie Effect, which is the sequel. Yes, I realize that reading the sequel first is begging for problems. I started it anyway. Within a page or two, my only thought was “oh no, another man with odd traits. ” I didn’t care that he thought they should have a “Standardized Meal System” that would organize their lives and make them better consumers. I usually find stories like this interesting because the human mind is too fascinating but not this time. So after 3 percent of this book, it was out.
You’re only one book away from a good mood.
I think I will just accept my dry spell before I ruin any other books that I might normally enjoy. I know I will be back to reading soon. How long can this last?
Thanks for reading!
*monkey brain – those times when your brain has so many things swirling around in it that it is like a money swinging from branch to branch and not stopping. It is a real pain in the neck. Unfortunately, we each need to find our own solution to this vexing problem.
I thought your reading chair exploded! 🙂
Oh, the cycles of reading. It happens. Could be spring fever drawing you outside, to do other things and give your reading mind a break.
I enjoyed the quotes you cited; especially since I love Colin Firth ❤
He is a handsome gentleman. It is also the accent. So glad you agree that there are cycles of reading. I hope my cycle starts again soon!
I haven’t finished a book in . . . forever. I keep putting them aside. Does that mean they are boring or that I can’t sit and read a full novel any more?
I for one think it’s totally ok NOT to finish a book. Life is too short to waste it on characters you don’t like. Maybe you need to try some short stories, or non-fiction, or something totally different like a middle grade novel. Don’t be too hard on yourself. 😉
Dear Carol, Understand completely about those dry spells for reading. Good you know what’s going on with you. I sensed you are accepting where you are. When I’m in a place of self-acceptance, I eventually feel centered, whole, and can move on. I recently discovered a fiction writer whose books I can’t wait to read. Her name is Diane Chamberlain. Did you ever read anything by her? If not and you want a good read try her out. I read “The Silent Sister” and “Necessary Lies.” In my opinion, both deserve a top rating, because the plot and character development were crafted so well. Be well. Live well. Lead a colorful life! Nancy Andres, Health & Lifestyle Writer, Author of “Colors of Joy: A Woman’s Guide for Self-Discovery, and Bliss,” Blogger at http://obloggernewbie.blogspot.com and http://www.nancyandreswriter.com/colors-of-joy-blog/
Thanks for your thoughts! I will check out Diane Chamberlain. I love receiving suggestions. Best wishes!