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When I Don’t Like a Book

My friend posted this in her blog.

To summarize, she oftentimes likes a book when her friends don’t. She will try to get them to appreciate some subtler point to the book, usually in vain. This got me thinking about books I’ve hated that everyone else liked, or vise versa. It also got me thinking about books I tried to read and couldn’t get into, but then when a friend “promised” me that I should keep plugging away at it, I did, and couldn’t imagine not having read that book. Here’s some examples.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

I tried three times to read this book, each time only reading through page 30 or so when I would put it down out of boredom and start something else. Finally, a friend told me this was her all-time favorite book and I should stick with it. I did stick with it, and it became a favorite of mine as well.

The Blind Assasin by Margaret Atwood

I still haven’t finished this book, but I really want to. I’ve heard it’s really good if you make it all the way through. Margaret Atwood is rather strange, but one of my favorite books is The Handmaid’s Tale, so I think I was expecting to love it right off the bat. I gave it away or sold it or something but I recently bought it again to give it another try.

Metamorphisis by Franz Kafka

The Metamorphisis, in the Penal Colony, and Other Stories: With Two New Stories Cover 

I read this in an English class, and as I recall, I was the only one who liked this story. I’ve been meaning to read it again because I found the story to be sad, beautiful, poignant.

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

I’m reading them (I’m currently on The Order of the Phoenix) because I feel obligated because they’ve become such a part of our culture. Not because I think they are great reads, especially for an adult. I think they’re great children’s novels, but that’s just it. They’re for kids.

I’ll (obviously) put a book down if I’m not enjoying it. I’ll give it 50 pages, and if the author hasn’t managed to capture my interest, then I move on. In English class in high school, we were supposed to read Crime and Punishment over the summer. I hated it. I wouldn’t even buy the Cliff Notes. My grade suffered, but I didn’t care. I won’t waste my time on books I’m not enjoying. Life’s too short. 🙂

What do you do if you’re not enjoying a book?

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4 Responses to “When I Don’t Like a Book”

  1. cultnation

    I think I’m nearly at the stage you are with Harry Potter (though you have already started reading them). Up until recently I had never thought of reading them, but as you have written they have become part of our culture and I find it harder to at least give them a go.

    In answer to your question…I’m a lot like yourself, I’ll give it a chapter or two then if it’s not something I’m enjoying I’ll retire it to Bookcrossing or a friend.


  2. trish d. dish

    Thanks for the comment! I went over and checked out your blog…very nice!

    One book I finally gave up on was Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad. It was loaned to me by a friend, and I was saddened that we’ll never have that cool discussion that you have after you’ve finished a book a friend loaned you. But I have too many kick ass books to feel like I’m “trudging” through something. KWIM?


  3. Josette

    That’s an interesting topic. 🙂

    Hmm…I’ll also try the first few chapters first, then if it manages to still hold my attention, I’ll continue reading, naturally! There was one book which was downright boring, I didn’t finish it. I don’t even remember the title! It was a story in the form of someone’s diary. Diaries are supposed to be hot, aren’t they? But this one was just plain dull.

    And I really like Jane Eyre. It’s one of my favourite books! =D


  4. wordlily

    I also have picked up Jane Eyre, determinedly, and set it back down after getting 30ish pages in and stopping. This makes me think I should try again, which I’ve known for years, but I haven’t brought myself to do so yet.

    I like Crime and Punishment, though. 😉


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