I wanted to do a separate post to talk about something bookish at the end of the month, besides my wrap-up post, which will be coming soon. This seemed to be the most relevant for me right now, since I am currently in this situation.
I DNF’d these two books this month, and they were both given to me for review. I didn’t DNF them to avoid giving a negative review. I have no problem with a negative review, if I’ve truly read it and didn’t enjoy it. But these two books, I deemed not worthy of finishing. And for my full thoughts on that you can check out my review here and here. One of the issues was the pacing was slow. It felt like it was taking forever to get to the good stuff.
Some books are slow, but maybe it was me. Because now, I’m reading these two books (one’s a kindle loan and one’s a print copy I own).
And again, it’s slow going. Only this time, I know for sure that there will be good stuff. I know that it’s waiting around the corner. Both books are engaging and interesting. But sometimes, when I am reading I find myself thinking “Maybe I can put this down and come back to it”. I see lots of books that I could pick up and finish in a couple of days and then come back to these books.
I’ve done that once already with Merlin’s Shadow, and know that if I do chances are I will choose to DNF it and move on. I read Merlin’s Blade and know that pushing through is worth it. It’s dense, with a lot of information and history, but there’s also action and humanity and good stuff.
With Triptych, Slaughter is a new to me author, so I have no background knowledge that something good is coming. Most of the reviews that I’ve checked out sing her praises. Except for moving a review book to a donating pile, and passing on the review book, nothing would hurt from DNFing this book. But there is that what if. What if it gets good right after I set it down?
Have we, as a community, become impatient with the books that we read? How can you tell if you are just being impatient, or if the book that you are reading is just not for you? I can’t be the only one who struggles with this, but, since we are readers with varying personalities we make our way through this issues differently. So I’m open to suggestions, thoughts and opinions.
There is a part of me that believes that we have become impatient, as well as lazy readers. This thought occured to me, previously, as I read The Giver by Lois Lowry. In that book the world was just the way that it was because the author created it that way. There wasn’t any explanation for how it came to be. As a reader, you simply had to accept it. After reading that, I was listening to a booktube review where the reviewer was complaining that the story was missing an explanation for how the magic in a book. The reviewer thought the explanation would help solidify the magic and the world. I read a blog post abotu the same thing, just a different book. What happened to the days where you just lost yourself in the book, and didn’t ask so many questions? But, this I am learning is part of being a reviewer. You ask yourself these questions as a way to determine talking points for your review. But really, is that fair? If I go into a book just looking for enjoyment, will it be easier to find since that is what I want? I know, as my above situation shows, that this is not always the case. But, if we start a book looking for flaws, asking questions do we not also find those? Or do we attempt to read and see what happens?
I, honestly think it depends, and this seeking is fluid. Sometimes I start a book, with the expectation of liking it, based on what I know about it or because of my previous experience with the authors. Everytime I pick up a Darby Karchut, Kevin Hearne, Kelley Armstrong or Ted Dekker book, I immediately assume that I am going to like it. Why? Because they’ve never disappointed me in the past. I picked up Shadows and Monsters by Ilsa Bick and expected to enjoy it. Simply because I read Ashes and couldn’t put it down. Instead I struggled through Shadows and DNF’d Monsters.
Does it matter if we are impatient or lazy readers? Possibly. We could be missing out absolutely amazing books. But, since we will never live long enough to read ALL of the books that we want, we might as well find enjoyment in the books that our hands touch.
P.S. After deliberating a little longer, I have decided to DNF Triptych. Since this was initially a pleasure read, and it wasn’t all that pleasurable. Maybe I will start with Book 6, since it is a review and judge the series on that. Maybe I won’t.