Going on a Date

I’m not so much a voracious reader as I am a serial romancer.

The chapters of a book are like dates for me. If they’re pleasant I want more dates, if they’re unpleasant… Well, unless we had enough good dates to form a relationship a couple bad ones are going to end our time together, sweet novella. I have other books trying to get on my dance card and I’m not wasting my valuable date time not enjoying myself.

It’s not me. It’s you.

A friend and I had a discussion about putting a book down recently. He was struggling through an unpleasant read but didn’t want to stop because HE HAD NEVER STOPPED BEFORE. He had never put a book aside because it was lousy or unreadable, or just not an enjoyable read for him. Not ever.

That astounded me and I asked around to see if others of my readery friends were more like him or more like me. Turns out the large majority of my anecdotal and totally not scientific sample were like him. For most of those folk the primary reasons they finished bad books were;

  1. They didn’t want to “waste” the time they had already invested in the book.
  2. They anticipated value in the act of finishing the book.
  3. They felt obligated to finish.

Do those look familiar? They should. They’re the most common tropes used for “why X stays in the worthless relationship”.

  1. I’d have to start over from scratch with somebody new.
  2. Once I’ve finished with them all of this current unpleasantness will be worth it.
  3. We’ve been together so long.

So I’m not the only one who is looking at stories as a relationship, I’m just one of the few who is willing to call one off when it’s a bad one.

What sort of literary ‘dater’ are you?

[End of regular post. Rambly stuff below.]

I’ve decided to read a bit before returning to writing. Not a big long time, but it will be a couple weeks before all of the feedback comes in from the Weavers and Ninja at Law early readers. More importantly, I haven’t read much at all during November and I feel like I’m a bit in withdrawal.

So Shizzle, Inc. (Ana Spoke) loaded to the Kindle last night and I have Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits (David Wong) on deck. That got me thinking about book reviews, as I’ve been looking forward to reading/reviewing Shizzle, Inc. I have a much better understanding of how important book reviews are now than I did just a few weeks ago, especially for new and independent authors.

Ana Spoke is just that type of author and I know that simply by posting an unbiased review on her novel it will have an actual effect on the book. It might be tiny or big, positive or negative, but when a new author’s first book is just getting started every review has an impact. You need a certain number of reviews to qualify for this vendor’s services, you need a certain number of positive reviews to qualify for this other one, star rating directly affects your book in search returns.

When there are only a few reviews, every review is much more important. Big fish, little pond.

I’m still on my first date with Shizzle but so far it’s going splendidly.

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5 thoughts on “Going on a Date

  1. It’s only recently that I started abandoning books in the middle if they weren’t grabbing me. I don’t know why I felt obligated to keep going when I wasn’t enjoying them. Last year, a group of my friends decided to start a book club and I’ve been forced to read what the majority of the group votes on (my suggestions never get picked!) and I think this is what did it. I’m finding that being forced to read a book I didn’t choose has kind of released me from the commitment to it. Like being set up by one of your friends on a blind date. Nice to meet you, don’t bother calling!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I have left a wake of half-finished books in my reading career. Not so much non-fiction, but fiction……as soon as I start feeling something along the lines of… ‘Don’t care what happens to you, you could be savaged by a pet goldfish and it would not interest me’ back in goes to the library, or to a charity or in extreme cases, torn into bits.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I consider books in a similar vein, but as conversations–if its not interesting, I’m out. However, now that I’m attempting my first piece of fiction, I really respect the effort and craftsmanship that goes into writing a book. I mean, I did before, but I’m even more appreciative. Still, just last week, I had to “walk away” from Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep (it was recommended as a study in character writing).For me, I find that books are about timing. So I may very well revisit Doctor Sleep–or not.

    Liked by 1 person

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