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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Second Chance Books

I love to read, that's a no brainer. If I didn't love it so, I'd be in the wrong profession  obsession vocation.

But I do sometimes feel fatigued. Especially when I'm concentrating on my genre (say the mantra with me now - read 3000 words in your genre for every 1000 words you write.)

Some books, even highly popular and praised books just make me feel tired, especially if it's a theme I've read before (a lot.) I admit. I've made mistakes. I've put down books, unfinished that I should have stuck with.

Some books come to you at the wrong time. Others are a slower burn that need a smidge more of your attention to get you hooked. I know everyone talks about the immediate hook being so important, but there are books that reward more than cursory effort.

I put down Wuthering Heights about two chapters in. I was so frustrated. Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books and, as a teen, I thought "sister-writer of my fave book? I will LOVE it." Then I started to read. YAWN. It took me years to pick it up again. In the interim, I talked smack about that book, called it boring and annoying. In my 20's I finally got past the slow beginning and fell, quickly and completely in love with it. It's up there as another of my favorites. I shudder to think what would have happened if I hadn't stuck with it.

Another example of a book that initially didn't grab me is Ally Condie's MATCHED. I know, a gazillion people loved it. A gazillion people raved about it. That might have been part of the problem. Coupled with the fact that, when I got it from the library, I had just come off a dystopian/sci fi jag - reading Beth Revis' ACROSS THE UNIVERSE and A MILLION SUNS, followed by Scott Westerfield's UGLIES series. I was tapped out on the future controlling society theme. I read 15 pages of MATCHED and said, meh. Later when I passed the new entry of the trilogy in the bookstore, CROSSED, I said meh again to myself. I would have gone on 'mehing' ad naseaum if it hadn't been for my sainted library. They always pull popular books that have been loved too much (ie coming to pieces) order new ones and put the old ones for sale. 25 cents. I saw MATCHED again and instead of saying 'meh' I bought it.

I'm so glad I did. It is a slower burn. Despite a lot of menace and internal turmoil not a ton happens. But that allows for more emotion and introspection and poetry. It's actually lovely.

What books have you abandoned only to later find out it's a gem? What hidden gems lurk in your 'discard' pile as we speak?




3 comments:

  1. Don't tell anyone, but I put aside THE HELP. But I recently won a copy in a contest. Plan to take it on vacation with me next week. Haven't seen the movie either...Shhhhhh

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    Replies
    1. I've never read THE HELP or seen the movie either - my HUSBAND has seen THE HELP and I haven't. Let me know how it is so I can decide if I put It on my groaning TBR pile. Have a great vacation!

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