(Well, except for A Prayer for Owen Meany. Which I started because it was my favorite history teacher's favorite book, but I just couldn't get through it. Sorry, Mr. D!)
Then I just ... stopped.
I felt guilty at first, abandoning characters, sometimes mid-strife, for newer models. And then that stopped, too.
This mainly happened because, heck, I just didn't have the time to waste my life on books that felt like work to get through them. I mean, I had enough actual work to do, and books were supposed to be my escape from that.
|This photo has zero to do with the post.|
I took it on my honeymoon,
and I just think it's pretty.
(Ok, I wasn't that worried, but I did wonder. I didn't want to recommend you guys crappy books, after all!)
And then I thought of all the books I'd put down in the past few weeks after a hundred or so pages. (Yes, I do still give them that much time to woo me.) There was the one whose main character I wanted to throw off a bridge. The other one whose worldbuilding didn't feel believable. And the one whose writing style felt too dense and meandering to engage me. And that other one that just wasn't my cup of tea.
So it was no surprise, really, that everything I did finish, I liked. A lot! It had already passed my litmus test of goodness just by getting finished.
Not to say that I still don't feel guilty sometimes when I put down a book. And sometimes they're abandoned not because of any fault of their own, but because I'm just not in the right mood to read them. So I close their covers and shelve them and promise myself that I'll pick them up again one day. (And I usually do, though that day is occasionally two years later.)
But the great news is, I'm now able to evangelize about the truly awesome ones more frequently, because I'm not wasting time on the others.
So what type of reader are you? Do you feel obligated to see a book through to the end? (And if you are, what if the end's a cliffhanger?) Or are you content putting something down if it's not for you? (If so, where's your line?) Anyone have a guilt complex like me?