Thursday, December 13, 2007

When do you give up on a book?



DAY TO READ campaign - January 10, 2008

January 10th, 2008


Really. I want to know.

I've heard the "give it 50 pages" rule. And for Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City, I'm already on page 66 but I haven't fallen into the book. And I want to. It is about late 19th century Chicago and the first World's Fair hosted in the United States. At the same time, the nation's first serial killer was trolling for victims in Chicago.

Juicy history which I usually love. I enjoy reading about significant events that have been forgotten but for some reason I can't get into this book.

Have you read this book? Did you like it? Should I keep at it?

Folks are still coming to Day to Read.

Katluvr is signed on and thinking of reading The Princess Bride. Why? I don't know.

Amy of the Sleepy Reader is signed on and bringing her three kids with her.

Wendy, a self-described "ravenous reader" (are there any others?) has a blog devoted to reading challenges.

Bonnie is also out there promoting Day to Read.

ZAM noted Day to Read to show that reading is one of her favorite things to do!

Melanie wrote about how she may start twitching if she doesn't blog a little on January 10th. Please read blogs! We don't want any withdrawls.

And the beloved (and very huggable) Ambassador in New Orleans reemerged from his blogging hiatus to speak eloquently about The Golden Compass controversy. He wonders if millions of little boys became entitled sexist pigs after reading about a young boy continually taking from a (female) tree in Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree. And he's pretty sure he wouldn't skip church after watching The Golden Compass the movie.


If I didn't mention you and you said you were "in", it is probably because I couldn't (quickly) find either what you wrote about reading or the button on your sidebar, or I completely spaced out and you need to remind me again. I will however list you if you don't have a blog but graciously leave your name.

Oh, and should I keep reading Larson's book? It did take me 150 pages to get into The Poisonwood Bible, which I loved.

18 comments:

Jenn said...

It took me 150 pages to get into American Tragedy...

Heh.

Flower Child said...

I read Poisonwood Bible and never loved it. And there are others that I try with - put down, come back at another time and try again.

You've already mentioned me - but just wanted to let you know that I purchased The Princess Bride and it's sitting on my shelf, waiting for Jan 10th. In the meantime, I am still falling asleep hungry to Heat.

Heather said...

I'm a glutton for punishment. I keep reading even if I'm not that into the book.

Mariposa said...

I'm stubborn, so I keep reading and gets hopeful as I progress in my reading...down to the last page...and if I have to reread it to check if I just miss something or my mind has not been working or is it really the book, I will! Yes, I'm what you call defiant to the end...lol

Goofball said...

I used to think that you had to finish a book even though you don't get into it. I always thought it would get better, that you need to give it some time....

but when I don't get into a book, my reading slows down. When a book drags me along, I somehow find time to read before sleeping, during breakfast, during traffic jams, I bring sandwiches to work so I can stay behind my desk with my book, I read on the toilet etc.... If I don't like the book, I don't read before sleeping, I watch more TV, I read magazines during breakfast, I put on make-up in traffic jams and I phone friends, I eat in the cantine at work , ....

So reading a book I dislike takes ages. Once I've struggled myself during month through "The Island of the Day Before" from Umberto Eco. Afterwards I thought it was such a waste of time. I hated the book, I had lost 3 months or more reading a book I didn't like....Just imagine how many books I do love I could have read.

So now I put down a book much quicker when I really don't get into it after a couple of chapters. it's still hard to do, but usually it feels like a relief. I tell myself I free up time for much better books.

Jenn in Holland said...

I loved poisonwood bible but don't know this one and therefore cannot advise.
But Yay for Day to Read!

Jami said...

I have only abandoned one book in my entire reading career. I have always given a book until the final page to decide whether or not I like it because, hey, they could be like a movie with a surprise ending that no one will tell you about. I failed to do that for Pynchon's "Gravity's Rainbow". But I don't feel bad. From Wikipedia:
The three-member Pulitzer Prize jury on fiction supported Gravity's Rainbow for the 1974 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. However, the other eleven members of the fourteen-member Pulitzer board overturned this decision, calling the book "unreadable," "turgid," "overwritten," and "obscene," with one member confessing to having gotten only a third of the way through it.

Ambassador said...

I surrendered after 80 pages into "The Remains of the Day". Arrrghhh...I just didn't care enough to continue.

So, I confess to you here that I too have not read (nor have I seen the movie of) The Princess Bride. I will join in on 01/10/08 by reading it!! Much love, your Ambassador

soccer mom in denial said...

Jenn - I never read that one.

Flower Child - I'm just writing up folks who are new to Day to Read. But I'm really glad you're reading The Princess Bride.

Heather and Mariposa - nice to know someone else agonizes about finishing.

Goofball - that is EXACTLY what happens to me!

JiH - Yay indeed.

Jami - you, my dear, are a SHOWOFF!

Ambassador - oh my! I thought I really knew you. But, but, you haven't read The Princess Bride. I would've pegged that as your dream book as a 7th grader. So put your 7th grade brain in gear when you read it....

Alex Elliot said...

I also keep reading books even if I don't like them. Poisonwood Bible however, I loved so much I've read it 4 times. My husband couldn't get past the first chapter.

painted maypole said...

i am terrible about giving up on books, and rather than dumping a book i hate, I will keep reading it SLOWLY for months, when I could be devouring books I love. I want to kick this habit, but don't quite know how. So i am of no use to you, sorry.

Wholly Burble said...

I am not aware of the book you're reading--so no help there.

Not sure I've ever "given up" on a book, as much as I've "faded away" from a book. I put a bookmark in it, put it on the side board. Pretty soon it's at the bottom of a pile on the side board. Then the pile gets moved to the end of one of the bookshelves in the "I still intend to get back to this book, so I'm NOT putting it back upright on the shelves . . ." and that process can take YEARS, and more than likely my moving to a new place where all books are packed and then taken out at the new house and set upright on the new shelves--otherwise, when I go to the nursing home, I'm sure my sons will have to deal with my "side board piles of partially read books" LOL.

Scribbit said...

I have a hard time ever giving up, it seems disloyal or something. Of course I get rather choosy as a result.

Nap Warden said...

Hmmm, Husband read this book and loved it start to finish. If your not diggin' it, I say ditch it.

Gunfighter said...

It's tought to put them down once you've started, isn't it? Even when they aren't that great.

I feel compelled to finish once I start... but I am often irritated once I finish a book that I really hated... Like Micahel Crichton's Sphere. I actually tore the paperback to shreds.

Jami said...

"are a SHOWOFF"

What? I said I have never abandoned a book, not that I've read them all quickly or that I liked them all. Like others here, there are some books that have taken me YEARS to get through.

Suzanne said...

Being the book hound that I am, I rarely give up on a book altogether. If I'm having trouble getting "into" it, I just set it aside and start something else until it starts calling me again.

In fact, I put myself on a book buying ban over a year ago because things were getting way out of hand (and yes, I've cheated more than once), but still after all this time, I have many unread books to choose from without going shopping for more.

I have to pat myself on the back, as this week I've been in Barnes and Noble daily (to use their electricity and wi-fi) and have only purchased 2 books. Amazing, isn't it? So, so, so many want to go home with me each day....

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Darn it, I want to read that, and I think we may have very similar tastes, so I'm bummed by your review. In my case, it sometimes takes me a while to walk from a book, and sometimes I walk within a couple of pages. I tend to read a few things at a time, and if I notice I'm not excited to get through something, sometimes I just let it go.