Monday, June 27, 2011

Do you finish "meh" books?

If you peruse the book/writing blog circles, you've probably seen this sentiment: There isn't enough time to be reading bad books.

In theory, this makes sense. I don't know about the rest of you, but I generally know pretty quick whether I'm going to like a book or not. Maybe it's the language or the elements of the story, but it only takes a couple chapters for that "off" feeling to set in. As Maggie Stiefvater said last Wednesday, writers start a book out with a certain number of "gimme points." Every time the author does something that irks the reader, they loose points, and the instant those points run out, the book gets dropped.

Now me? I'm pretty forgiving when I read a book. There are only a handful that I never bothered to finish.

You see, I always have this slight hope that things will get better by the end. That maybe if I read one more chapter, something awesome will happen. That somehow the book will wrap up so beautifully that everything I was feeling "meh" about in the beginning will fade away to nothingness.

Sometimes this happens, but very rarely. In my case, that's how I felt about Cassandra Clare's The Mortal Instruments. Even though I couldn't get into City of Bones, I forced myself to read the sequel, City of Ashes, and was happily surprised by how much I liked it. Needless to say, I've been on the bandwagon ever since. But only because I pushed forward.

Which makes me curious about what you guys think. What books have you read lately that you couldn't get into?  And how long does it take you to put down a book? Are there any story elements that turn you off immediately? Or do you always push through to the end, even when you could be reading something you enjoy more? Tell me in the comments.