This year I’ve abandoned quite a few books on my reading pile. I was drawn into the blurb and pushed through a few chapters waiting to be swept away but I was left feeling frustrated and (honestly) a little bored.
At this point, I put the bookmark in and stare at the cover, wondering what to do. Should I force myself through it and hope it gets better or pass it on to someone else?
It seems like an easy question to answer; don’t read something if you don’t enjoy it. But the problem is that I’ve spent so much time dissecting novels to learn how to write that some of the magic of reading has disappeared.
By learning how to become a writer, I’ve morphed into a really stuck-up reader. Some days I can actually visualise myself in an ivory tower, scrunching my nose up at a clunky character introduction or at a whole page of unrealistic dialogue. Even when I’m reading a truly amazing book, part of me is still critiquing it.
I think it’s important to tell you that the books that frustrate me are not necessarily badly written. Some are award-winners, best sellers or recommendations from other writers. The books have interesting stories to tell but for whatever reason, I just don’t like the way the author has put them together. As much as it is about the craft of writing, it’s also just personal.
I can’t decide if I actually read differently to how I used to, or if it’s just easier for me to pinpoint what I don’t like about a book. Either way, I have a sad pile of abandoned books that I need to attend to…