Dear Ones —

My question of the day: Do you feel that you are obliged to finish reading a book, once you have started it?

I love to hear different people's reading styles. I have friends who are serious completists — they absolutely must finish, once they have begun, no matter what they think of the work.

I am just the opposite. I come from the "Life Is Too Short" school of reading: I will drop a book like it's hot if it doesn't hold my attention. If you don't have me by page 10 or 20, you ain't gonna get me. If it's a book that people are really loving, I might dig in a bit deeper, to see if I can align myself with popular opinion, but if I'm really not getting it, the book goes straight to the GIVE AWAY pile.

I am always amazed when I read some of the most vitriolic criticism of my books — not because I'm surprised people don't like everything I write (the arts are the very definition of a subjective world, after all) but because PEOPLE STAYED WITH IT, even though they were hating it! I always want to reach out to those people and say, "My god, if I hated anything as much as you hated my book, I would have stopped reading on page 3! Spare yourself next time! Release yourself from it, if it's driving you crazy! Go find a book to read that you love, you poor thing! Why spend your life in a rage?" Not that they want to hear from me, I'm sure…

(With professional reviews, it's different, of course: Those folks are PAID to read books that they hate. They have no choice but to bulldoze their way through it. But if you're a civilian reader? I give you full permission to stop reading at any time…)

What about all of you?

Completists or Quitters? Share your style…


via Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook Wall

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This