I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a while. I’m not terribly prone to holding grudges as a person, but I find that this doesn’t necessarily translate to my bookish decisions.
I rarely give second chances to authors who have disappointed me. Well, this sounds horrible, doesn’t it? Like authors have some sort of responsibility to make me love their books? But it’s the only way to not drive myself crazy, really – my to-be-read pile is enormous as it is, without adding books by authors I’ve given a chance but haven’t enjoyed.
There are cases when I read the first book in a series, for example, and know upon finishing it that I will never pick up the sequel(s). Hounded was one such book, as was Perfect Ruin. They weren’t necessarily BAD books, I just couldn’t connect with the main character at all and the style wasn’t made for me. A non-serial book that cemented my dislike for an author (in less than 150 pages, no less), is The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway – I can’t explain it to you, but that fish killed all my desire to ever read another one of his books. Such is life, eh?
Then there are authors I have given second (and third and fourth) chances. But their books never got better. So why am I doing this to myself? Hell if I know. I promised myself after reading Every Last Breath that I won’t be reading another Jennifer Armentrout book because they are badbadbad (hello, slut shaming, pointless love triangles and having readers pick the love interest by A POLL – I think smoke came out of my ears when I heard THAT particular bit of craziness) but I also know myself and will probably fold as soon as I see that Wicked got a sequel. I know everyone says life is to short to read bad books, but some are so bad they’re actually good. Am I making sense at all?
I sometimes stick with an author even though their books didn’t wow me, just so I can finish a series and cross it off my list. *sigh* Leaving series unfinished is one of my great vices so I’m trying to be better at that. I don’t know whether I’ll be giving the last part of the Malediction trilogy a go yet, for example, but I might, even though I didn’t really enjoy the second book in the series.
Then there are authors I’ve sworn I’ll never read again but was convinced by other people (*cough* my husband *cough*) that giving them another chance would be worth it. And it was… until it wasn’t. I’m talking about Joe Abercrombie, of course, whose First Law trilogy I read a while ago – and hated the ending. I just thought it was completely pointless! Then I gave Half a King a try, loved it, adored Half the World and… HATED the ending in Half a War. Ugh! (To be honest, my husband couldn’t have known how this trilogy would end, I actually finished it before he did, I commandeered the last book as soon as it arrived, that’s how excited I was.) Why, Joe, why? Why do you make me care for your characters and then disappoint me so? (I know books aren’t written for me, but sometimes I wish they were…)
What, then, is the conclusion I can draw from this? I would love to read all the books in the world. I would. Really. It’s my heart’s greatest ambition (well, not really but it would be pretty awesome, don’t you think?). But I can’t, so I have to make some decisions on how to pick my next read.
Sticking with an author whose book(s) I didn’t enjoy seems like a pointless thing to do because there are so many other authors whose books I haven’t given a try yet. It almost seems unfair to those yet-unread authors if I continue reading books that I’m not enjoying. I might finish a series if I’m halfway through already and the books aren’t monstrously long, but then I also feel like I owe it to myself to read books I actually like.
What’s your take on this?
Are you a loyal reader who sticks with an author no matter what or do you drop them like a hot potato as soon as they displease you?
I’d love to hear from you! :)