Hello, world! I was talking to my dad the other day about (what else?) books. He had been reading a book that I recommended to him without ever actually reading it. It’s called Kronos Rising by Max Hawthorne. My dad and I love monster movies, and, for me at least, particularly sea monster movies. So I saw that this book was out, and it looked awesome. It’s about this creature that is terrorizing a town. It’s essentially Jaws (which happens to be my favorite movie, in case you were wondering) but with some weird prehistoric alligator-like creature.
He told me when he first starting reading it and he thought it was okay, but nothing great. He kept reading it. When I’d ask him about it he’d say, “it’s okay. The writing isn’t that good. Great concept though.” He finally finished the book a couple days ago and told me that he didn’t like it at all and asked me what my opinion was: when you’re reading a bad book, should you read it to the end, or move on?
It’s such a tricky question because everyone is different. My mom, for example, will never stop reading a book. She comes from a farming family and stubbornness is in their blood. She starts and finishes every book she reads. And I wonder where I get my book stamina… My sister on the other hand, will start a book and even if she loves it she won’t finish it. If it’s short and she can read it in one day, she’s happy. Any book more than 150 pages she won’t finish.
So really it depends person to person. However, I have a pretty fail proof argument: Life is too short to read crappy books.
This statement has a few sub-arguments with it:
1. If it’s bad, why are you even giving it the time of day? You spend a third of your life sleeping, which gives you two thirds left of your life. If you’re anything like me, you spend nearly another third of your life reading. Do you really want to spend an entire third of your life reading crappy books, or reading good books? I would prefer to read good books – things that interest me.
2. When you switch over from a poorly written book to a well written book, you feel a wave of happiness over you! Like everything will be okay again because you have accepted this new world to jump into. It’s a big weight being lifted off of you, and it really makes you appreciate a good book a lot more than the bad.
3. You can do what I do and tell people not to read the book! “Avert your eyes to this book at Barnes and Noble! You’ll thank me later!” You’ll be saving yourself and others from hours of dreadfulness. It’s so nice to tell people not to read something, or tell them to read it at their own risk, or even to recommend an amazing book. Hell, that’s why I started the blog! Shielding your loved ones from bad books is your responsibility as a person, and as a book lover.
To prove to you all that I have read some really horrible books (and to shield you, my blog family loved ones), I will give you a list of three books that I have either stopped reading or hated reading within the last four or so years.
A. I Can Barely Take Care of Myself – Jen Kirkwood. I love this comedian. I think she’s spectacular and so funny. She was even on a couple episodes of Drunk History! But her book was awful. It was really badly written, and it just droned on and on nonsensically. I had expected it to be what it promised: how she can barely take care of herself let alone a kid. Nope. It was about how horrible babies are and how they ruin everyone’s life, and how marriage is a sham and you shouldn’t do it. What?? Come on, Jen. I only made it through about four chapters.
B. Do Over by Robin Hemley. This, too, had promise. About a man who gets a divorce and has a couple of kids and how now that he’s divorced he wants a do-over or something like that. I made it through about eight pages before I just shut it and forgot about it completely.
C. This last one is a touchy one. Hector and the Search for Happiness by Francois Lelord. I actually read the entire book. It was a short book, definitely less than 200 pages. Because it was so short, even after I started questioning it, I decided I’d just keep reading until the end. In a way I’m actually glad I did because they made a movie about it 2014 with Simon Pegg that I normally would have seen, but because I didn’t like the book, I didn’t see it. The good part in that is that I didn’t waste 20 bucks on an excursion to the movie theatre only to see a really horrible movie (or so critics say).
I read this book about three years ago and I thought the narrator was a total jerk. He has a live-in girlfriend and an amazing Psychiatry job, but he’s not happy. So what does he do? He takes a sabbatical and tells his girlfriend he’s going on an adventure around the world to find out what makes people happy.
Keep in mind, they do NOT break up!! But this guy goes to Japan and meets up with this old friend of his and has an affair with a Japanese prostitute. He then goes a few other places, one of them being Africa where, again, he has an affair. Not only does he do this knowingly, wittingly, but he was super happy about it! Each time he started thinking about how he could just live with these women and be totally happy forever. And then something bad always happened and he had to leave and then, and only then did he realize, “hey, I kinda love my girlfriend.” What a jerk. I think they made sequels. Maybe they’re better than the original, but I didn’t like the first book so I’m not even going to look them up. Not worth it. I do think the author’s sequel was about love though. Hmm…
In any event, I’m a firm believer in reading genuinely good books. That’s why I’m a habitual re-reader. Some books are worth multiple reads and some aren’t even worth one. So save your time for the good books, and actually enjoy reading. Reading is one of the world’s most magical activities – apart from going to Disneyworld. So cherish it!
Until next time!
P.S. I’ve started reading A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. Holy crap this book is HUGE. Almost 600 pages and I’m fairly positive the writing is in size 10 font and it most certainly takes up the entire page. This is going to take forEVER. Bear with me.