More books have made their way from catching my interest collection over to either a spot on the keep forever shelf or discarded as a gift for someone else’s enjoyment or donated somewhere. For every tale that has been read it seems like fifty more clamor for a place in my want to read mountain.
Sometimes even the difficult to read books for me are hard to finish. They are the ones whose tale or style don’t connect with me. I generally finish them any way. One of my reading friends shared with me a long time ago how she dealt with the problem of too many books to read and those quirky ones that just don’t turn out to be enjoyable reads – she read for three or four chapters and decides then whether to read the whole book or not.
There are few books that I haven’t finished, even the ones that left me frustrated and angry that my time was being wasted on them were finished. Crazy? Glutton for punishment? Eh, maybe. Mostly it was respect for the time and effort the writer put into getting their writing published. Writing is hard, laborious, and great source of joy for myself. Imagine it is for most writers. So, I finish reading even the writing that I don’t like.
Sometimes that has paid off. Halfway through either the writer has worn me down to their style, or they get better at the telling of it. Could be a part of the karma of the writer, or not – reading others works so that someone will read mine? A few of those initial stinkers have made their way onto that shelf of honor for keeps.
At the moment, the current partially empty shelf of keeps there isn’t one like that up there. Even glancing through the titles on more complete keeper shelves its hard to remember, but I know there are some. Sometimes, because forgetfulness is a wonderful way of being gracious, one of those unfortunates finds their way back into the to be read category. Because of age, or life events, they become a better read, or maybe I am just a more experienced reader.
A few days ago I started a book that initially read stilted and awkward. It frustrated me with its prose. Now I am frustrated that my commitment to daily blog posting has to interrupt the story when I am so close to its end. Will it find a way to a permanent home on my shelf? Maybe. Maybe because the writer was gusty in starting a book out with such an awkward beginning – a nose turn at the rule of catching the reader’s attention at the beginning. Intriguing how the writer used just enough diction to annoy and not let me settle in as a means of creating conflict from the beginning. It went from me and the writing to between characters without me noticing it.
A delicate balance between the story and the telling of the story makes all the difference in a good story you finish and one you put down never to finish. Right now, I want to finish this one. What was a book you changed your mind on?