Friday, July 20, 2012

How Long To Persevere

Do you ever put a book aside, deciding to stop reading it? At what point do you call it quits? What factors figure into your decision? 

I'm a writer; therefore, I'm an avid reader. Of course, much of what I read is within my primary genre, middle-grade fiction; a secondary genre, historical fiction; and books about the writer's craft.
       Now and then, I come across a book with which I have a hard time connecting. Perhaps the characters lack the depth needed to capture my interest or the premise is shallow or weak. The book may be very good, though, and simply not appeal to me. I made a pact with myself when I was in high school that I would read at least 100 pages before I quit a book. Usually, by that point I'm invested in the story and continue to the end. Usually. But not always.
       Do you ever put a book aside, deciding to stop reading it? At what point do you call it quits? What factors figure into your decision? I look forward to reading your comments.


  1. Yes, I have put books aside, but not many that I can recall. Most have been picked up at the public library, and taken home, only to discover that the language was unacceptable. Those are returned and never completed.

    Several books I've started and simply lost interest because something more interesting captured my attention. However, I'm ususally able to come back at some point and read it to completion. One book in particular, I received as an award when I was middle school age. I tried reading it several times, but didn't complete it until I was in my 30's. It was a true story of a soldier's experience during WWII. My initial failure to finish was due to lack of interest, and I believe, lack of life experience. :-)

    Still other books have given me pause when I disagreed with the author's theology in some way. In most cases, I am able to disagree on that point and finish the book.

    So I have stopped reading books for unacceptable language, lack of interest and major differences in theology. :-)

    1. Thank you for your comments, Brenda. Those are some reasons that have caused me to stop reading a book, also. Sometimes a writer will say, "Well, that language would be typical of the character." An adept writer can work around that. Jerry Jenkins includes some unsavory characters in many of his novels--in a detective novel, for example, there must be some bad guys--yet his dialogue is not offensive. In the manuscript I just finished revising, I say the rough character "let go with a string of expletives," or "fired obscenities in her direction." The reader doesn't need to know what the words were. He's a crude character. He uses bad language. Period.

      Likewise, a skilled writer of Christian romances can craft a love story worthy of their calling in Christ without compromising Christian morals.

      Read on!
      Because of Christ,

  2. Kathleen L. Maher comented about this post on my Facebook page. She gave me permission to reprint it here. Thank you, Kathleen!
    Kathleen L. Maher commented on your link.
    Kathleen wrote: "I recently started a book that was my favorite genre, had a great cover, and had heard great things about it. The back cover copy sounded great. .. it had everything going for it. Then I opened it up and on page one it was so heavy with over-description, it was like weed whacking a path through a tropical jungle. Then I looked at the page number on the last page, and it was over 400 pages long. I said "nope, don't have a year of my life to dedicate to this project" and it is now shelved.

  3. That is a question I have asked myself more than once as a writer. A good practice, many have found is to select random pages throughout a book. If too many such blind choices leave you cold then perhaps this is not the book for you.

  4. I've not tried that, Athol, but it makes sense. Thanks

    Write on!
    Because of Christ,