Oct 30, 2011

Sunday Salon: Giving up on Books

The Sunday Salon.com

Happy Sunday! For once, today won't be as busy as usual because my working week starts on Wednesday morning first. It means I have two extra days to finish homework do some reading and blogging before we plunge into the first week of November (eeek! The idea that the year is almost over freaks me out! Where did the time go?!)

Today I'd like to discuss something that happened to me last week. I'm not one to give up on books. No matter how bad it is, I will finish it. Naturally, the effort and pain will show in my review. Last week, after two weeks of struggle to make it through the first 150 pages of The Book That Shall Not Be Named, I just had enough. It was a galley I requested, and therefore I felt more obliged to finish reading it and review in a timely manner. And suddenly in a moment of bliss, I decided that there's plenty of other books that I could read instead of wasting my time, gave up, said thank you to the publisher, but this book is just not for me and I won't finish it and therefore there will be no review.

As far as I can remember, there's been only one or two books that I completely gave up on in the last couple of years. One was Moby Dick (I admit it, I just can't look at that thing anymore, with all due respect to Mr. Melville). The other one was Bored of the Rings. That was just plain stupid (pardon my French.)
The problem with The Book In Mention was that I simply didn't care. I didn't care about the characters, I didn't care where the story was going. Which is not to say that it was completely bad, it had a quite unique character with a brilliant psychological aspect, but still...meh.

How about you? How long before you stop reading? Do you "force" yourself to finish a book if you received it for review (after all, that's what publishers and authors expect in exchange for the book-an honest review), or is your time too valuable to be wasted on bad books? If you give up, do you still write a review based on what you read? I believe that one cannot judge a book having read it partially, but I've seen it done, and the ratings, needless to say, are mostly one-star. Is saying "I couldn't finish it" a way of dodging negative reviews?
What do you think is worse for the author--a very negative review or the fact that someone thought their book wasn't worth the time to read any further?

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