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Thread: Are you compelled to finish a book?

  1. #31
    Bloomin' FoRT Fanatic! ness's Avatar
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    If a book doesn't suck me in by the first 25 pages or so, no.

    I'll drop that sucker like a bad habit and keep on rollin'.
    "In a world of pollution, profanity, adolescence, broccoli, zits, ozone depletion, racism, sexism, stupid guys and PMS, why the hell do people still tell me to have a nice day?" - Unknown

  2. #32
    Premium Member Pansygirl's Avatar
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    no if I can't get into the book in the first chapter the book is history....
    Smile it makes people wonder what you are up to.

  3. #33
    FORT Fogey Salome's Avatar
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    I almost infallibly have trouble getting past the first few pages of any book, sometimes even the first 200, but I usually plow all the way through. Most of the time, my efforts pay off; sometimes, they really don't. (There are the books that wither away at the end, and then there are the books that start low and miraculously sink even deeper.) The only two works that I've been unable to finish were, if I'm going to be honest with myself, too high above my maturity level: The Ambassadors and The Master and Margarita. I knew there was something there, but I simply didn't get them, at least on a conceptual level. I might try again in a few years.

    I'm currently wrestling with Caesar's The Civil War for my class on Roman Literature. Boooooring!

  4. #34
    FORT Fogey nausicaa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salome
    The only two works that I've been unable to finish were, if I'm going to be honest with myself, too high above my maturity level: The Ambassadors and The Master and Margarita. I knew there was something there, but I simply didn't get them, at least on a conceptual level. I might try again in a few years.
    Don't give up, Salome. Truly great books deserve more than one reading, and *nobody* "gets" a book on their first try, never. You've heard the one about the "Don Quixote" critic who wanted to write *the* definitive analysis of Cervantes' work, spent his entire life doing it, only to end up copying the novel word for word? The unfortunate dictum of modern literature seems to be: if it ain't difficult, it ain't worth it.

    Anyway, there are a lot of books I can't seem to finish, but refuse to sell or give to friends because I know they're supposed to be "good for me". Embarassingly though, the rate at which I finish romantic trash/tripe is alarming.

  5. #35
    FORT Fogey Salome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnowflakeGirl
    Call me a literary slut, if you like, but hey that's just the way I like it.
    Oh my, this quote is going right up on my wall, because well... I like it like that myself!

  6. #36
    FORT Fogey Leftcoaster's Avatar
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    There are too many books I have waiting in the wings to feel compelled to finish something I can't connect with.

    It took me numerous attempts over years before, for whatever reason I was able to gain any appreciation for Dune. Then one day it worked for me and I moved through the series.

    Ordinarily when I'm faced with a novel that I'm having difficulty with, I'll open up the book somewhere into the middle and begin reading a few pages or a chapter. I figure there are several parts to the story (the beginning, middle, and end), and not all authors do well with all parts of their story. So going to the middle, I figure that the author is well into the intros, and if the story STILL drags, I don't hesitate to puty it down. Most often though, I see enough to get interested to the point of going back to the beginning.

    Certain types of storyplay put me into the mood to put a book down. Everpresent shifts between different times or locations that don't make sense until well into the book, and over description of the like the Stephen King is so fond of turning what should have been a sentence into a paragraph and a paragraph into a chapter apparently because he either likes the sound of his own voice or he can't afford anything but a yes man editor. Speaking of King, I stopped reading for the most part (or at least seeking him out) after reading a book (The Stand??) that I tend to recall introducing relatively main characters several hundred pages in.

  7. #37
    FORT Fogey Add It Up Champion famita's Avatar
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    I have found that I HAVE to finish a book once it's started. My family always calls me "the skimmer" because I read fast. There are a few books over the years that I absolutely HATED, but I forced myself to finish them. Who knows when you will need anything out of the book later in life? You might not need them yet, but someday...
    I also found that I don't read a lot of self-help books. I prefer fiction. And the really bad ones I save for those days that I can't sleep worth a hoot! Sometimes I get so bored I fall asleep anyway!

  8. #38
    Resident Single Gal erin_dye's Avatar
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    Okay. So I always finish a book no matter how much I'm not enjoying it. Until this weekend.

    I had to return "The Shining" to the library without finishing it. I was about 3/4 of the way through and just bored to tears. I just couldn't get into it. So now I have moved on to books I might enjoy more.

  9. #39
    FORT Fan blue jean baby's Avatar
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    i am always compelled to finish a book. There have been times when i just could not get into a book and for those times i do skim over allot, trying to find something that will get my attention, but i always finish the book. Usually i only pick books i am pretty sure i will like, but i guess at times even my favorite authors have written something i have trouble getting into, those are the time i find myself skimming. But if i read the first chapter i have to know what happens in the rest of the book, so i have to finish.

    bjb

  10. #40
    Peeking In Duxxy's Avatar
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    I have to finish every book I pick up - no matter how bad it is. I live in the eternal hope that the author will surprise me and things will get better.. I'm usually disappointed but at least I gave it a shot.

    pinkie I LOVED To Kill a Mockingbird but I LOATHED The Chrysalids and Day of the Triffids was 4 times worse!

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