My reading usually follows a fairly predictable pathway. I meander along, enjoying the book a lot, quite a bit, just a little, or not so much. But I don’t often quit.
I really hate when that happens! It’s as though I’m being graded on completion, or something. But I guess, in a way, it feels like a failure of my ability to persist. To persist in the face of boredom or sheer dislike of something.
Perhaps today’s example had a lot more to do with the fact that I had read the blurbs on this one, and the reviews were not that great. So I was forewarned. But I often like a book that others do not enjoy, so I’m not stymied by less than stellar reviews. Okay, I’m going to tell you the name of the book. My Hollywood, by Mona Simpson, is a book I had great hopes for in spite of the reviews, because I loved this author’s first book a lot. And I enjoyed the movie made from the book, starring Natalie Portman and Susan Sarandon (Anywhere But Here).
I was reading the book on Sparky, my Kindle, so I can’t even tell you the page number where I stopped…but I was 30% finished. I guess I’d given it my usual test of pages, though, to see if it would improve.
The book was written from the points of view of Claire, a young mother, and Lola, the nanny. At first, I could kind of relate to Claire’s issues with motherhood, marriage, and work. The whole juggling act. But she had a nanny! So why did she have to whine so much? And Lola…she seemed more interested in criticizing her employers (she worked for more than one family), and in sending money home to her family in the Philippines.
As you can tell, I’m very frustrated with the book for not holding my attention. But I am glad that I decided to set it aside. I put it in a collection on my Kindle for DNF books…it’s the only book in that collection so far. I can always try again later.
Yes…now I feel better.
I know that others have faced the same decision at times…I see it all the time, and I’ve read posts about the thoughts that have gone into the DNF issue.
So what do the rest of you do when you don’t like a book? Finish it, or set it aside?