Wednesday, July 10, 2013

On the road to Quitsville: How do you read books?


Greetings Everyone!
I have a question for you regarding “The Reading of Books”.

It happened last night.  The lovely book I am reading has become… formulaic.  I found my reading speed increasing as I started scanning the pages, looking for action rather than description.  Sigh.  Once that happens, it usually is only a matter of time before I completely lose interest.  My daughter and I have a ranking system for books.  The standard 1-10.  10 being the best read ever, of course.  This particular book was an eight, whose definition is “A good, solid read”.  Nothing fancy, but engaging.  Last night I felt the erosion to my "Eight" begin, and I started slipping down to Sevenville, which is right down the road from Quitsville.
 

Do you stay with books, even if you feel you attention slipping?  When do you say “Enough!” and put the book aside?  Some people are far more patient than I.  (Or perhaps just more stubborn.)  They will endure a boring book like a car-ride to Grandma’s house.  It is simply unavoidable, and must be done.  And getting there won’t be fun either.  It’s just a matter of DUTY! 
 

But I just don’t have time for that nonsense.  I get very little reading time, and my precious hour after I go to bed must maintain an eight rating or above…or else!  What do you do?  Do you ever review books you don’t like, or do you stick with putting your energy behind the ones you love?
Goodreads has an official opinion (complete with polls!) on the matter. http://www.the-digital-reader.com/2013/07/10/infographic-what-makes-you-put-down-a-book/#.Ud1t0vUo5jo
Also, on a similar note.  Um…. Does anyone ever read the ending first?

GASP!  Now I’ve done it.  I’ve let the cat out of the bag! 
Sometimes I do. especially if I see the road-sign for Quitsville looming up ahead. And sometimes, it encourages me to keep reading.  New studies by very important psychologists say knowing the ending of a book actually helps the reader enjoy the process of reading.  So there.  Is you don’t believe me ask your mother, and then go here. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksblog/2011/aug/17/spoilers-enhance-enjoyment-psychologists

 
So, do you do it?

Fess up here.
 

 

P.S. ROW 80  I am still working on my article, and have started another. I am in the process of another edit for the MS and I’ve entered it in Xmas in July, so if it gets get picked as one of the thirty, I need to have it done.  Thanks for keeping in touch!

 

19 comments:

  1. I just read a conversation about this very topic. One person said, "Life is too short to spend it on boring books," and I have to agree. Alas, I have two Quitty from Quitsville books on my nightstand now, both touted as the next best thing.

    In movie parlance, my husband and I call these Yankers, as in, "Yank that DVD out or I'll fall asleep and drool on the sofa cushions."

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  2. Love it! Yankers it is then.
    Thanks for the .02 Alison.
    ~Just Jill

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  3. I used to always keep reading. Now I don't ADMIT I am quitting, but I will pick up something else and never get back to it. I love to read, but I feel like anymore, a lot of my reading is beta reading or reading (to edit) my own stuff.

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    1. Very passive-aggressive of you Hart. Luv it.
      ~Just Jill

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  4. I knew one (dare I say it?) truly odd person who made it a point of honor to finish every book she ever started reading. I said, 'Ummm... So, if the book grosses you out or bores you to tears, you finish it?' The response was, more or less, 'Well, of COURSE, silly! Who doesn't?' Me, if I get annoyed, I stop. I did that with a smash hit best seller. I also read ahead to see if the ending made it worth it, and I became furiously angry at the cop-out ending. Art for the sake of art? Bah! (Cough... excuse me) But if I hit slow parts I'll skim ahead.

    (sorry to be long, but...) I've had it happen where the parts I couldn't stand were, upon reread, very enjoyable once I'd had (a) a good meal, (b) a good night's sleep, (c) a glass of nice, dry Champagne.

    ...and I do read the endings first. Unless I've promised not to. It helps me enjoy things.

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  5. To make matter worse, the not-so-interesting book I'm reading is now overdue at the library, AND on hold for someone else, so if I want to finish the blasted thing...I now have to pay! Puts things in perspective, huh?
    Can you say "skim"?
    ~Just Jill

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  6. I trudged through Dan Simmons' The Terror several years ago and decided that was the last time. Most books get about three-four chapters and if I'm not hooked, I quit. And I don't review them. Not fair if I didn't read the whole thing.

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    1. How very upstanding of you Cap'n. I would expect no less. Thanks for stopping by...
      always.
      ~Just Jill

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  7. I'll give a book a good chance. I'll read on for a bit once I'm bored just in case it was a blip and it gets better, but not for more than a chapter. After that, it's heave-ho! I don't review books I didn't like unless it's a best seller (eg Fifty Shades of Grey!) If someone I know through blogging or FB writes something I can't praise I just don't review it. I'd rather say nothing - unless asked for constructive criticism, of course!

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    1. That's because you are a classy lady, Linda King!
      Thanks so much for stopping by. I appreciate your time.
      ~Just Jill

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  8. Nope, I'm too old to suffer through boring books. I'll give a book about fifty pages, and if it hasn't grabbed me yet, I figure it never will. Although an outstanding recommendation by a friend will sometimes have me stick it out, if they tell me ahead that the book has a slow start.

    Seriously, though, I do think one hazard of being a writer is that I can see most plot turns coming, and so there are very few surprises for me when I read (or watch a movie). So if I'm not being surprised by things, I have to be dazzled by great writing and character development. If a book has those, I'll usually read it all the way through. :)

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    1. Ha! 'Tis the curse of the creative I'll wager. Thanks for the input Luanne. Hope the book is going well!
      ~Just Jill

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  9. Sometimes I think life is too short for books you're not enjoying. Sometimes though even if I'm not keen on the rest of the book something (usually one particualr character) will hold me through to the end. Although I am guilty of page scanning and not really appreciating the prose.
    I have been known to peek at the end. And in one instance, peek ahead to see if two of my favourite characters end up together. I've been hurt before and can't put myself through that again.
    I read something on Carly Watters blog about one of the top ways books are passed on is through mother/daugher recommendations. Nice to see that in action with you too, me and my mum are always book swapping.

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  10. Debbie Dahling! Why are you reading blogs when you should be working on my--I mean YOUR fabulous WIP so I can continue reading about my new favorite heroine? Really dear. I can't be kept waiting like this...
    ~Just Jill

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    1. Oh--and thanks for stopping by. Really!

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  11. I seldom put a book down without finishing it. Part of it is that I do book reviews and feel it is only fair that I read the whole thing, so that has become a habit. And believe me, I have read some dreadful books start to finish because I had to review. For my pleasure reading, if a book doesn't capture me by around page fifty, I will give it a pass, but that seldom happens.

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    1. Your reviews are always so good, Rosi. I always enjoy reading them and get so many recommendations from your site!
      ~Just Jill

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  12. It depends on the book. If it's a non-fiction book on a topic I'm interested in knowing more about, I'll read it to the end, even if it's a slow and somewhat tedious read. But I expect more from fiction. Its purpose isn't to educate me or indoctrinate me; all I want it to do is entertain me. I want it to make me laugh, make me cry, make me FEEL. And dare I say it? Surprise me, for heaven's sake. I am NOT a fan of formulaic books. I look for the creative twist, the unexpected, along with a wondrous choice of words. That being said, even if I don't LOVE a book, I always finish it eventually. I started reading a book more than a year ago, but was immediately put off by the style and blatant shoving of religious beliefs down my throat. So I put it down. Others have given that book some great reviews, so I WILL get back to it someday. Just not today. (Too many OTHER books to read.) I have never read the ending first. Like I said, I cherish surprises in a book, and am loathe to read ahead to spoil them. (And I hope nobody reads my final chapters first!)

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    1. I solemnly promise I will never read the ending to your book first.
      Signed,
      Just Jill

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Please use your words and comment freely! We really should meet!