Do you ever struggle to get in to a book so much that you eventually reach the ‘I can go no further’ point and give up on it?
This has happened to me on more than one occasion and it always leaves me feeling like a bad reader. I don’t like to leave a book unfinished but sometimes I cannot find the will to continue.
My Mum is a massive Stephen King fan, Cell is one of her favourite books by him and so on her recommendation I gave it a go. Unfortunately, I could not get into it. His writing style was awkward to read; a lot of repetition of phrases which I find really grating and the story just did not capture me. I know there will be many of you out there shouting at your screens right now, defending the writing genius that is Stephen King, my Mum looked like she wanted to throttle me when I said this to her! Over the last couple of years since I tried to read Cell my Mum has tried time and again to get me to give it another go, or at least try one of his other books but I am yet to do so. My previous experience has put me off.
Recently I was reading Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira when again I found myself giving up on a book. It was really slow, I wasn’t connecting with the characters and I was really having to push myself to read it. I was complaining about the book being boring and how I was just going to admit defeat and stop reading it when my dad came out with some words of wisdom, he said:
“It may be boring but someone has worked hard to write that, the least you can do is take the time to read it. You don’t have to like it you just have to give it a fair chance. Soldier on, Shelley.
He is so right! Ava Dellaira most likely poured her heart and soul into that book and here I was just ditching it. Admittedly I did like the second half of the book so it was worth persevering but even if I hadn’t I feel that I would have felt better knowing that I’d given my time and effort in return of her own.
A few weeks ago I began reading The Northern Lights by Philip Pullman, it is one of the books featured on my reading list for university. I couldn’t get in to it, this probably had something to do with the fact that I have to read it rather than having chosen to read it. I gave up on it, I put it aside and was just going to write a negative review about how I couldn’t bring myself to finish it. But how is this fair? Surely not finishing the book is a fault on my part and not the book’s? Last night I took my Dad’s advice and picked up from where I left off. I am determined to finish it and then I can write an honest review. Good or bad, at least I will have read it all. Philip Pullman gave his time and effort to write it, I will give mine to read it.
From now on, however much I may not like a book I am going to soldier on and read it to the last word, no matter how long that takes. Who am I to just cast aside someone’s hard work? The books deserve to be read and their stories to be told.
Not all books are good, not all books will be to everyone’s taste and that is okay, but if I have bought it I should at least make the effort to read it.