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;
- They didn’t want to “waste” the time they had already invested in the book.
- They anticipated value in the act of finishing the book.
- 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”.
- I’d have to start over from scratch with somebody new.
- Once I’ve finished with them all of this current unpleasantness will be worth it.
- 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.]