Reading can be tricky.
I won't keep reading a book that doesn't interest me. There are too many other good books out there.
So my first 100 pages of J.K. Rowling's novel The Casual Vacancy plodded past. Because the book wasn't interesting, I wasn't compelled to pick it up in my few spare minutes. Because I didn't pick it up at every opportunity, each time I had to try to remember who this character was or who that character was. There are lots of characters and none of them is the protagonist. None of them is the one character you are pulling for or rooting against.
In addition to lots of characters, the book didn't evoke any emotion in me. It was dull.
So why didn't I stop it?
I made the mistake of looking at the Amazon reviews. It has bad and good reviews. The bad reviews, unfortunately, said intellectual things like, "This book sucks." or "What a waste of time." The good reviews, of course, went into detail about how this is a great saga and that just because it is difficult reading does not mean that the reader should put it down. The good reviewers were claiming that the rest of us were lightweights.
So I determined to keep reading, even if I don't like it. Maybe I'll change my mind by the time I get to the end, or maybe I won't, but I'll be able to give an honest review of it.
What I think so far is that editors are too bowled over by Rowling's fame to tell her to tighten her writing at the beginning of the book.
How about you? How far do you read before giving up on a book? Or are you one of those who never gives up? You'll read to the end no matter what.
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