I finished reading a book by sheer inertia.
I started the book, didn’t like it much but felt guilty about putting it down half-way through. So I tortured myself into finishing it.
A well-meaning friend gave it to me. It was very sweet of her: I was sick at home with bronchitis, she came to visit and brought me oranges, a special tea and a book.
Because of the kindness of her gesture I also felt like I just have to read this book. She hasn’t read it herself, but thought I might like it. The reviews on the back cover were very good, so I thought I’ll give it a try. (When will I learn that no publisher in their right mind will ever have bad reviews on the back cover?)
I don’t know the exact moment I realised I don’t necessarily enjoy the book and not particularly learning anything from it, either. I did realise this, however. But it didn’t stop me from continuing to read it. And complaining about it, too.
A friend tweeted: I usually stop reading a book if I don’t find it useful. Makes sense, right?
Another friend has shared a very useful rule: to read as many pages of a book as your age and if you’re not impressed, there’s no point in carrying on. There are way too many good books out there for us to waste time on books we don’t like, she said. I’m 24 which makes me wonder if I’m perhaps too young to be applying this rule. I foolishly neglected her advice.
The lesson I obviously need to learn is this:
IT IS OKAY TO STOP READING A BOOK IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT.
One day I will learn this. One day I will.
For now, I decided that a book that wasn’t worth reading isn’t worth a review, either. So I’ll leave it at that.
Do you have the same problem? Have you read books you didn’t like and then regretted it? What about the opposite: has a book you didn’t like at first surprised you as you read on?