Wednesday, March 9, 2011

An Unfinished Book is a Terrible Thing

Recently, I have been putting myself in an awkward position.

I never like to say I've "read" a book without, you know, reading the entire thing. It might be that some of the books I've picked up lately are just.... meh, and so my lukewarm feelings lead ultimately to putting the book down. Then not picking it back up. The ending alludes me because in the end, I just don't care enough to care.

This is pretty sad, I think. It happened with Nic Sheff's We All Fall Down. I got all the way up to Part 3 of the story; it's divided into three parts, with the last part being just about 100 pages. I have it on my bookshelf at work. I know I'm going to go back and finish it at some point, but... I'm not really in a rush. You might recall this happened with Firestorm! a few months ago, too. As I try to embrace adult nonfiction, it seems to be happening even more. I'm worried it's less the content of the book and maybe just my lack of an attention span. Could it be that things are just not grabbing me like they used to? Am I just a bad reader? Do I only like books for teens and for kids?

I'm kind of curious if this happens to anyone else.

I'm sure it does, but not to the other readers I know.

As a librarian and a self-proclaimed reader's advisor, I usually tell patrons that if they are not enjoying a book they should just stop reading it. I can't take my own advice. I feel like you can't be super critical of a book you didn't get all the way through. Maybe Sheff's book gets really, unmistakably good in the last 100 pages. Maybe I should have just stuck with it in order to give it a chance. Books, like many people, often get the benefit of the doubt with me.

I just can't help thinking... an unfinished book is a terrible thing.

1 comment:

We Heart YA said...

yup. It is a terrible thing. However, some are worth sticking around for. It all depends. Some friends of mine felt this way about THE BOOK THIEF...but sticking with this story is so rewarding. It simply haunts you after putting it down.
But, I recently gave up on THE MAZE RUNNER after four or five characters introduced themselves, "Hi, I'm Chuck." "I'm blahdittyblah" "I'm blah." I just thought, this is no way to introduce new characters and I dropped it. How callous is that? My TBR pile it too big to get all caught up in something that's not going to change my life. Sarah xx