As I get older and have more time to read, I am also finding it easier to abandon books that are not holding my interest. I used to feel that I was morally responsible for completing every book I started. However, there are just too many good to outstanding books on the shelves (both physical and virtual) for me to feel anyway obligated to complete something that I'm going to end up labeling a big "MEH." So far this month, I've completed 11 books ( 5 audio, 6 print) and am more than 1/2 way through another three. The ones I've completed have all been fun to read, and two of them are going onto my definite keeper shelf. The others I'd describe as "glad I read them", and I wouldn't be uncomfortable recommending any of them to the right person to read, but none were jumping out screaming "Pulitzer!"
And then there were those that got "Pearled" - after Nancy Pearl's rule that says read the first 50 pages if you're under the age of 50, but as you get older you may subtract your age from 100 to find the number of pages you must plod through before abandoning your reading. I always try to read 50-75 pages, so I can be sure that I'm truly not enraptured. Here are two that didn't make the cut for me this month.
1. The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano. I suspect this is one of those books not meant for me to read in the dead of the dark dark cold cold winter. It's very dark, very depressing story of two different children with troubled (very troubled) childhoods, who, if I read the reviews correctly meet up in adulthood and >>>>>blah, blah, blah. I gave it 65 pages and it wasn't working for me. I confess I picked it up at the library because of the interesting title (remember I was a math major). Maybe later.....
2. The Master Butchers Singing Club by Louise Erdrich. This may be one worth pursuing, but not until I have time and can find it in print. I downloaded the audio from the library and while I normally like this format, the author chose to do her own narration, and I suspect she does a great injustice to the story. I wish authors who are not trained readers/actors would stick to writing and let the pros do the talking. It was painful for me to listen, so I decided to stop after just one disc (about 40-50 pages) and keep my eyes open for a print/e copy.
Perhaps I should, like Will Schwalbe's mom in The End of Your Life Reading Club" jump to the end of these about to be Pearled books to see if the ending is OK enough for me to push through. What do you think? Do you ever read the ending first to see if it's going to be worth your while? Does that make reading the book (particularly a mystery) less inviting?
There was another book I abandoned mainly because of a formatting and file problem with a Net Galley download. When I complained and filed my non-review with the publisher, the author was as distressed as I was, and has offered to send me a copy so I can read it and do a decent review. As we used to say in my family: "The squeaky door gets the oil." I always say it does no good to be irked at someone or something if the person with the problem isn't given a chance to correct it.
It's been wicked cold up here in Maine for the past week, so I've not been going out much. However, those projects I mentioned at the beginning of the year, particularly the High School reunion project, have really eaten into my reading time. I'm hoping to settle in today and finish "Bring up the Bodies" by Hilary Mantel. I am really loving this one (it will most certainly go onto the keep it shelf) and want to finish this part of the trilogy. Next week I hope to have a few reviews for you of some of the Net galley ARCs I've been leafing through.
Stay warm friends.