lørdag den 25. juli 2009

To Read - or Not to Read?

I am sure all book bloggers know the dilemma: you are reading a book that doesn´t really catch your interest. Should you read on, blog about it – or just put it down and pick another one from the shelf?

The other day I noticed an interesting post: a new and fresh argument explaining why you shouldn´t waste your time. See “Do the Book Math”.

I read the post and decided that at least my life was too short for the Dutch writer Saskia Noort´s New Neighbours (not translated into English yet, but it probably will be).

The first pages seemed quite promising – a little boy found all alone in a cottage among several bodies - and I got to page one hundred, but the story just seems more and more unpleasant. Too nasty, too much spite and sex, too predictable … well, no need to waste more time on a non-review, is there.

At læse – eller ikke læse.
Alle bogbloggere kender garanteret dilemmaet: man er begyndt at læse en bog, som ikke rigtigt fænger. Skal man læse videre, anmelde den på bloggen – eller bare lægge den til side og snuppe en ny på hylden?

I går opdagede jeg et interessant blogindlæg: et nyt og friskt argument for ikke at spilde sin tid. Se ”Do the Book Math.”

Jeg læste indlægget og bestemte, at mit liv i hvert fald var for kort til hollænderen Saskia Noorts Nye naboer (2007).

De første sider virkede ellers lovende – en lille dreng, som blev fundet helt alene i en hytte sammen med tre-fire lig – og jeg nåede til side hundrede, men historien forekom mig bare mere og mere ubehagelig. For ulækker, for forudsigelig, for meget nag og sex, … nå ja, hvorfor spilde mere tid på en ikke-anmeldelse.

En dansk anmeldelse (ikke overvældende positiv) kan findes på Litteratursiden.

13 kommentarer:

Unknown sagde ...

I agree - Life is too short. I am giving up more books the older I get. I don't want to waste time reading bad books when there are so many great ones out there.

Anonym sagde ...

Predictability doesn't bother me as long as I am entertained. What entertains me can be a mystery sometimes since my moods change. ;)

I do agree about not wasting time. It's not like it was 30 years ago. Today, there are TONS of books floating around. I find I read faster if I am enjoying a book. Reading more makes me happy. :)

Jodie sagde ...

Thanks for the link to my post:) I am trying to overcome the guilty feeling I get when I decide not to finish a book - life is too short.

Beth F sagde ...

I definitely refuse to force my way through books I'm not enjoying. Sometimes the book is bad, sometimes I'm not in the mood, sometimes the book is good but not for me. Whatever the reason, I don't have a probably abandoning books.

R/T sagde ...

farmlanebooks, J. Kaye, and Jodie have already said in their own ways what I would say on the question: Life has become so short (which happens after six-and-a-half decades) that I am mercilessly impatient with books that do not "hook" me within the first couple of dozen pages; those books get tossed aside, and I move on in hopes of finding something more worthwhile, which is all perhaps a sign of my intolerance for "wastes of time" that it is anything resembling objective evaluation of a book's merits. So, I am certain that otherwise good books get abandoned too soon, but such is life. And all of that suggests to me the old conundrum: Which ten books would you take with you to a desert island, knowing that you will be there forever without any opportunities to have that stack of books replenished? Dorte, which ten books would you take? Jodie, J. Kaye, and farmlanebooks--which ten would you take? As for myself (i.e., as for my stack of ten), perhaps I'll post the challenge on my own blog and see what happens.

Anonym sagde ...

I love what R.T. said: So, I am certain that otherwise good books get abandoned too soon, but such is life.

Many of my book blogging friends have encouraged me to stick with a book, telling me it gets better. The rare times I listened, they were right. If I were younger, I could stick with a book longer. The older I become, the less tolerant I am.

Dorte H sagde ...

Jackie: so far I have finished some very unpromising books (thinking it might be useful for my readers to see which Scandinavian books I didn´t like), but this blog post made me change my mind - at least for the time being.

J.Kay: so true! When I was younger, I was afraid there wouldn´t be enough books to last my life. Now I have 30-40 on my shelf which are more promising than the one I gave up.

Dorte H sagde ...

Jodie: you are welcome. I really enjoyed your post. Quite a new perspective :D
- and usually the author won´t know you put his or her book down anyway.

Beth: "sometimes the book is good but not for me". A good point. I enjoy many crime novels and some thrillers, and after a few months´ blogging I have become quite good at deciphering reviews and knowing which bloggers share my taste.
Fortunately the one I put down was a library book - so I can still boast that I enjoyed all the books I have bought because one of ´my bloggers´ recommended it :D

Dorte H sagde ...

R.T.: Oh, that was a good question! (Meaning: I will have to think about that one).
As this blog is about crime fiction, I am going to ignore the Bible plus all the obvious classics, but still - I love so many authors from Britain, America, Scandinavia, Australia etc.
Well, as I said, I will have to think - and I hope you will post your own list in the meantime.

Bibliophile sagde ...

I have a formula I use in these kinds of circumstances: If a book has not become interesting after about 1/5 of the length of the book or 2 chapters (whichever is the longer), I don't finish it. This is, in my experience, about the number of pages it takes the average book to move from the introduction to the actual story.

As to books for a desert island, I made such a list last year: http://52books.blogspot.com/2008/02/desert-island-books.html

It's only about books I would take for a year's stay, but I think I would have to rethink the list if the stay was to be for the rest of my life.

Dorte H sagde ...

I have never before felt I needed a rule for when to put a book down, but the post I link to really made me think.

Good of you to link to your top-ten. If I pull myself together and write one, it will probably also be a list for right now.

Belle Wong sagde ...

I am such a moody reader, I will often put down a book not because it isn't a good read, but because it's not what I want to read at the moment. On the other hand, usually when I come across a book that doesn't hook me at all, mood or no mood, I know it. And when that happens, I don't try to make myself finish it. Well, except when people whose tastes are similar to mine tell me, keep going with it, it turns out to be really good. (I am highly suggestive, I guess!). But such a thing happens very rarely.

Dorte H sagde ...

Belle, I also like having several books on the shelf so I can pick exactly what I want today, and not what I wanted yesterday, but this book ... My daughter read a few chapters and declared it was horrible trash.