Tuesday, April 30, 2013

When a Book Doesn't Speak to You

I sometimes have trouble getting into a book.  I'll pick it up, give it a try, put it down, and start all over.  Sometimes it's just the wrong time to be reading that particular book.  Maybe it's about a topic that you can't handle right now (cough-The Fault in Our Stars-cough), or maybe you're burned out on the genre and can't appreciate it.  Or maybe, you can't understand all the hype.

This has happened to me several times.  Most of the time, if a book doesn't hold my interest, then I just put it down, walk away, and never think of it again.  But sometimes I keep hearing positive things, or keep getting recommendations, or get pestered by one particular library patron to READ THIS BOOK!  So I try, again.

The first time that I kept picking up a book that I had mostly signed off was Jake Ransom and the Skull King's Shadow.  One particular patron kept begging, no demanding, no threatening, that I read this book.  I tried and tried and finally on the 3rd try with no job and nothing better to do, I finished it.  Jake's parents are archeologists that have gone missing, and due to an ancient artifact, a thunderstorm, and mysterious powers of some type, Jake and his sister are transported to a lost civilization made up of dozens of other types of lost civilizations.  It's all very weird.  And if children's books are to be believed, then 6 out of every 10 kids have a lost archeologist parent.  The whole book was very marginal, but I finally made it through and felt some sense of accomplishment, even though I think the only person that absolutely loved this book was my library patron.

The book that I can't get through but everyone else seems to love is The Scorpio Races.  I bought this book for my Kindle and I've tried twice, but I can't get past three chapters, which is frustrating because I loved The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater and she's such a popular author.  Not to mention my friend and amazing librarian, Cinjoella, loved it.  I can't do it.  Every time I try to pick it up, I read about these water horses that I can't picture or understand and I stop.  I'm a quitter.  

But I am about to change my ways.  The Spindlers has been another tough one.  I read a couple of chapters through a free preview, but couldn't finish the whole book before the preview expired.  It was interesting, but not great.   Then I checked it out from my library.  Same thing, picked it up, put it down, now with just one day left on my check out (it's an interlibrary loan, so I can't renew) and half the book to go, I'm determined to finish, even though it's lackluster.  I just keep thinking that I have read this story before, but better and more appealing to a broad audience.  But I will not quit!

What about you, what book do you keep trying to read?  And I'm not talking about some classic tome, or some required reading that you couldn't get into-it's a given that virtually anything assigned in a lit class will be something that someone has trouble sticking with.  No, I mean that one book that every one loved and you tried to love, you did, but you couldn't make it past three chapters.  That's the book I want to talk about!

Happy Reading (or quitting, there's no shame in that!)


  1. I listened to the Scorpio Races on audio. That might have been one of the reasons I could go farther in. Often I find that if I don't like the audio or I don't love the book but I really want to read it (or give it another chance) I try the other format. Sometimes it is all I need, other times I just stop. Because really, there are so many books you just have to pick the ones you want to read. :)

    1. I'll have to listen to The Scorpio Races. Maybe mixing up the media will help me get through it. Also, when do you listen to your audiobooks. I know that you are an audio fan, but since I don't have a long commute, I really can't find time to listen, since I would rather read. I was able to get through one review audio while making dinner, but I would love to hear how you listen to audios.