Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Abandon Ship


In the last couple of weeks, I've put down almost as many books as I've picked up. Yes, I'm picky. Perhaps part of the reason I'm so nonchalant about abandoning them is that I don't have a vested cash interest. Ely paid for them. She and I swap books. I love getting boxes from her that have little stickies on each book with pointed comments: "Not so horrible, just so-so for me," "The best part about this book? The dog on the cover," "Spooge! It's so bad have liquor nearby," "Oy vey, the Scots are coming."

Now, the fact that I can shut a book midway, or skim ahead to the HEA is something new. I used to be a good girl who read every word until the bitter end. Now I operate on the "Life is short so eat dessert first" principle. If something tastes bad or boring to me, that is The End, even if I'm on page 127.

Do you abandon, skim or read the last chapter first? Do you do a book swap or donate your books? (I do both.)

It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer. ~Albert Einstein (who probably never read a bad romance novel, and who was definitely not an April fool.)

11 comments:

Tiffany Chalmers said...

LOL Love the quote!

I can close a book. In fact, in a recent read... I shut the book on PAGE 8! I couldnt' do it, the language and pacing drove me nuts.

I've made it 250 pages into a book with only a hundred to go and I've shut it and given it a good chuck to the wall :) I'm hard to please too.

I share books on occassion. I prefer to buy my own than borrow anothers.

J.K. Coi said...

LOL, Ely's the best!
I still read every book, but I'm not so anal about keeping them anymore. I used to keep a book (even if I didn't like it), especially if it was by an author I normally "collected", because I needed to have them all. Now I don't care so much, if I know I'm not going to read the book again, then I don't have room to have it collecting dust on the shelf.

irisheyes said...

I'm getting very hard to please, lately. If it's not grabbing me by the second chapter I'm outta there! Maybe it's because I've been reading so many good books that I don't want to settle for the mediocre any more.

I've also been skipping ahead a bit more than I used to. There was a time I wouldn't even read the beginning of the next chapter, but now I'll skip ahead half the book if it's losing me. I've yet to read the last page/chapter of a book. I just can't bring myself to do it. LOL

Elyssa Papa said...

I will give up on books, too. I would rather not waste my time when there are so many other good books out there to read. Some books though are so bad that it's like watching a trainwreck . . . you can't stop reading them even though you know you should. Usually, these are all the "spooge" books. Go figure. LOL.

And, I skip to the end, too. I am so bad.

Stephanie J said...

Cracks me up!

I've been hard to please for awhile...I have no issue closing a book. I feel so picky but eh, it is what it is. Mary and I swap books although it's pretty one-sided since Mary sends me books but already has the ones that I have. I also swap with my mum and it's working out very nicely now that she's picked up romance again!


If there's no swap with them I take a trip to Half Price Books.

Maggie Robinson said...

Steph, it wasn't until fairly recently I gave myself permission to abandon ship. I have a stack of books I may or may not get back to, but I think I'll have to be pretty desperate!

Tiff, page 8? Altho I think I've got you beat. A few years ago I was reading a medical thriller and they were dissecting a body from page 1. Barf. That was it for me, probably around page 3, LOL.

Ely, love you for sending me books, and love your critiques! How right you are.

JK,I can't keep all my books anymore. I know I'll never read most of them again. I have about 50 romances on my keeper shelf, but they're just gathering mega-dust.

Irish, you're living proof about the importance of the first page/first chapter. maybe you should become a literary agent!

Tiffany Chalmers said...

Oh good... you do have me beat. It makes me feel better. I tried... I really did... the style was jaring me and I just couldn't do it.

terrio said...

I've only begun to give up on books in the last year or two. I used to read every word and keep most every book. Then I found this virtual community and the world exploded. LOL! Between swapping, winning, and having books land in my lap, I can't keep up.

Now I put a book down if I can't take it. Usually it's when I realize I could care less what happens to the charactes. But I did pick up one recently that was in 1st person present (I think that's the right way to describe it) and I couldn't do it. Everything was happening right this second and it gave me a headache. Not that it was poorly done, just not what my brain is used to reading I guess.

But I still won't skip ahead. Either read or don't finish, but no jumping to the end or heaven forbid reading the end first! LOL!

Janga said...

I always read the end first. If I don't like it, that's it. I too used to read every page, even if it were painful. No longer! Life's too short, and there are too many good books waiting.

Recently, because of particular circumstances, I did have to force myself to finish a book I loathed. I disliked the heroine from the beginning; by the end, I felt the deep and bitter hatred for her that I usually feel only for arrogant ignoramuses and my third cousin who once gave me a bloody nose.

I feel it only fair to add that every book I toss in the UBS bag is not a bad book. Often I'm just not the reader for that book. But there are other books that affect me as some student papers did. I put them away wishing there were a grade lower than F.

Maggie Robinson said...

Janga, Blogger is a tricky little devil, but so am I. ;)

Yeah, I know what you mean. I was reading something yesterday which is absolutely ho-hum thinking , "An editor read this? They didn't notice the same word three times in one paragraph?" I'm just vicious. I'm going to finish it if I can, but it will be a struggle.

Terri, you are the winningest girl I know! We read a book in my teen girls books club that had an odd point of view. Some of them didn't realize why they found it hard going, but it does matter. I did read a first POV in a historical lately though that was fun, Nicola Cornick's Kidnapped book. And Janet Mullany's Rules of Gentility is a hoot.

Anonymous said...

Recently, I only got to page 5 on an historical novel. The descriptions of the furniture, the clothing and the phases the hero spoke were just so jarringly wrong. I can forgive a lot if the story is good, but for heaven's sake, do a little research and at least set the stage right!

It got dumped into my "For the Library Book Sale" pile.

Does give you hope, tho. If THAT can get published.....