Sunday, September 24, 2006

Unfinished book guilt

This topic has been discussed on various blogs, definitely on Running With Quills though I currently lack the patience to look back and find the post. Can you put down a book if you don't like it? Or are you compelled to stick it out and finish? It took me a long time to give myself permission, if you like, to not finish a book; especially hard when it's a book I have plunked down good money to purchase. But there comes a time when you have to realize there are a lot of books waiting to be read and my time is important. Just because I am not enjoying a particular title does not mean someone else won't find it the best book they've read all year. Right? So, put it down and move on.

I wonder if high school honors English plays a part in the determination to finish a book regardless of reader enjoyment? Being forced (oops, required) to read classics and then dissect all of the fun out of them. Probably why I am not a big literature classics reader to this day. As usual, I digress.

My first of two weekend reference duty shifts occurred following the Labor Day holiday. I mentioned I grabbed several books from our recreational shelves; The Day Trade by Stephen Frey, It Might Have Been what He Said, by Eden Collinsworth, Ricochet by Sandra Brown, and You've Got to Read this Book, by various authors. I didn't care for any of them and they have been subsequently returned to the library. Yes, I am glad I did not buy them, but I am still disappointed, especially with the Sandra Brown title.

Don't get me wrong, Ricochet was the best of the bunch and Sandra Brown crafts a great story. I have several titles of hers in my personal library including The Switch, Envy, Hello, Darkness, and The Crush. But after reading the first three chapters of Ricochet I realized I had already read the book, at least metaphorically. There was an honest, dedicated, and slightly burnt out police detective (cute in a grungy way), his understanding and supportive partner (this time a woman), a corrupt judge (married to the beautiful heroine), a bad guy in cahoots with the judge (a slime), and a married woman (ethereally beautiful and misunderstood) destined to be with the hero. I knew how it would end before finishing the prologue. While at times that is a comfort, there are instances where it is just old. I read the last chapter and put down the book.

Yes residual unfinished book guilt remains. I consol myself with the growing pile of "to be read" titles currently languishing on my nightstand, living room endtable, kitchen counter, and at work. This afternoon is FOOTBALL, but as I finish laundry tonight somebody is getting lucky.

Tags: , , ,

No comments: