Tag Archives: good books

The problems with giving up


Asking herself: who throws books away?

Image by marcp_dmoz via Flickr

So this weekends blog hop got me thinking about books I have almost given up on but ended up loving. Some books can be really hard to get into, I think there is a small part of me that thinks if I finish a book that I had a struggle with I should reward myself by loving the best bits. The reason I made my 100 page rule is not (as I’m sure it is for many) to stop me wasting time by reading books I don’t enjoy butto make sure I give all books a fair chance. Some of my very favourite books, and some books that I just enjoyed I was close to giving up on at some point. Most notably the first Harry Potter book. In fact I may never have finished it had it not been for the fact that it was Christmas and I had nothing to do. I can’t say I was very interested until at least the incident at the zoo, possibly not even until the emergence of Hagrid, and even now I skip to the shack in the sea when re-reading (and coincidentally have much less knowledge about the beginning of  Philosopher’s Stone than I do about any of the reast of the books, despite the fact that I’ve owned it for longer). Once I got to the end though I was so disappointed it was over- you cannot imagine my excitement when I spotted Chamber of Secrets in-store.

Captain Correli’s Mandolin is the same. Lets face it the first chapter is hard. The writing is dense, the subject is not even very interesting- t least not to me, and the presentation doesn’t help make you want to read it. I barely even get the purpose of the first chapter, there is surely a better way of setting a scene? Yet I adore this book, and am still looking for something just as good by Louis de Bernieres.

More recently, but less dramatically I almost gave up on The Secret Scripture, and Pop Co. but ended up really enjoying them (Pop Co. may even be my favourite book of the year this year).

So, yeah, what would I have missed out on without my rule? Who knows. Yet still I think is 100 enough? Am I still missing out on books I would have ended loving up?

But then again there are books I have kept going with, books where I’ve been relieved to finish them. It doesn’t happen often, usually I know early on if a book isn’t going to be worth finishing. How many books would I wish I hadn’t bothered with if I had no restrictions?

So what do you think. Have you almost missed out on any books? Have you wished you had?

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