Friday, August 28, 2009

Musings of a Tenacious Reader

IN THE NEWS: "Man gets glued to toilet seat at Australian mall." Read more HERE.


I had a shockaroo of an experience recently.
(Uh, I should clarify right now that I'm talking about a reading experience)

Anyhew...
I started this book (which will remain nameless) in June. It was one of my few print books that I bought to take to the beach with me. Let me tell you right now, I was really excited to start this book. It looked fun and a perfect beach read.

Well. It wasn't. At least, I didn't think it was at first. I would pull it out then wonder many many times over why in the world I thought I would ever like this book.
It actually put me to sleep!

After reading five or so chapters in the span of two months, I finally gave up on it, happy to be rid of it. But then a few days ago, I found myself at the beach with nothing to read. I looked in my beach bag and there that book was--dusted in sand, crumpled, looking forlornly up at me. (I'm not made of stone, people!!) So, I picked it back up and started to read it again.

Something quite unexpected--almost magical-- happened around chapter eight.

I started to enjoy it.

Yes. I started to enjoy this book that was once the bane of my summer reading pile. In fact, I started to enjoy it so much I finished the whole thing in a day and a half.

Wow. I'm so glad I gave that book another chance. It may have started out slow with the characters sounding all the same and cliches up the wazoo, but then it came into its own and in the end it really was a fun book to read. Who knew?

Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever given up on a book only to try it again and be pleasantly surprised?

20 comments:

Jody Hedlund said...

I haven't had that happen. If the book doesn't grab me early, then I don't finish it and I usually don't pick it up again or anything else by that author. It's made me learn that as a writer I REALLY have to try hard in the first few chapters to hook my readers!

Chicki said...

That's never happened to me either. Usually once I put a book down I don't pick it up again, just start another book.

Jessica said...

Oh , that's so funny! Not really too much.
But when I was a kid I tried Witch of Blackbird pond and was bored. That was fourth grade. Then I found it again in sixth and loved it. So I think I just wasn't old enough.
I'm so glad you enjoyed it. :-)

Stephanie Faris said...

That's great news. It makes you wonder why the author would have started so weakly.

That's how I felt about the movie Nina Takes a Lover. I couldn't get through it. It was on cable so I'd watch it every time it aired, never making it past the first half. Then one day I stuck with it and...WOW. Total twist. The movie wasn't the contrived, sad excuse for a Lifetime movie I'd thought it was at all!

Jill Kemerer said...

Yes, Jennifer. I've found that many times my brain just isn't in the mood for that type of book. When I pick it up at a later date, I enjoy it. Weird!

I'm glad you ended up enjoying the book! Have a terrific weekend!

Jennifer Shirk said...

Jill: Maybe that was it. I wasn't in a "mood" for a book or for that author's voice at the time.

But chapter 8! Sheesh! That's tenacity on my part. LOL!

Lazy Writer said...

I've never stopped reading a book, but I have been bored to tears for several chapters before getting into it. I've also been bored to tears through the whole thing! :)

Kristen Torres-Toro @ Write in the Way said...

Hi, Jennifer!

Actually, I picked up a book this weekend that I started and only read a chapter of before. This time I didn't get 3 pages in. I think that book might be a loss. But it's only one of a handful of times that's happened to me.

Honestly, I really don't like the beginning of "Fellowship of the Ring". Sometimes I just want to skip to Lothlorien. But as soon as they get there, it's all wonderful until then. So worth it!

Patricia Stoltey said...

Hi Jennifer,

Thanks for connecting with my blog and leading me here. I enjoy ramblings and anything to do with books.

As for going back and finishing a book later, I occasionally do that. I think I have three over here on a table with bookmarks in them. I might finish them. Or not.

PatriciaW said...

Yes, that's why it's so hard for me to give up on a book. Some are "late bloomers". But, when the surprise doesn't happen, I get annoyed that I wasted my time.

Jeanette Levellie said...

Wow, you are patient, or God wanted you to read that book, Jennifer. At any rate, I'm glad you finished it.

I had that happen recently with a book that has lots of description, which i tend to gloss over. I plowed through the first 3 chapters or so, then the story took off and addicted me.

But will most readers stick with a book that it takes eight chapters to get hooked? I wonder.

I'm trying to hook my readers in the first sentence, paragreaph and page. NOt make them wait til chapter eight.

Stephanie said...

I don't think I'm patient enough that I've ever picked it back up once I got bored. So far, I have a bag of used book store books and when I get done with one, I throw it in the bag. NEVER to be seen again. :o/

Joyce Wolfley said...

I've tried multiple times to read a certain book over the past 3 years...the furthest I got was page 75.

I hope people don't ever feel that way about my novel...nothing propelling them forward until they hit chapter 4 or 5.

FictionGroupie said...

I'm a chronic finisher, but sometimes this pays off. I recently read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. There were parts of it that were so slow and I was ready to just give up on it. BUt I had heard such great things about it. Plus after reading 300 pages (it's 750) I felt I was in too deep to give up. It definitely was worth it. I ended up loving it.

Trisha Pearson said...

The book I quit right in the middle and didn't pick up again for months was Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon, the sequel to Outlander which FictionGroupie just mentioned. I enjoyed it once I got going on it again and couldn't believe I gave up on it.

T. Anne said...

That happened to me. I tried to put down 'A voice in the wind' several times only to oddly pick it up again. About a quarter into the book I could not put it down. It's one of my favorite all time novels now. Stranger than fiction, I know ;)

Diane said...

Eight chapters before it got good...... I don't have that kind of hope and endurance :O)

Marcy said...

I have a hard time pressing through if a book doesn't capture me in the first few chapters (I have a pile of partially read books by my bed). Good for you for giving it another shot.

Regina Milton said...

So this happened to me with a series I was reading that has six or seven books. I was reading the first one and was so not interested. Money situation as it was I didn't buy any new book to replace it. Eventually I had to start reading it again just to have something to read. Around the sixth chapter, I started to like it. The book took me months to finish, but I've since read the other ones in the series.

Rick and Monique Elgersma said...

Some of my days start out slow and then bam! Lots of books mirror my days.