Saturday, August 27, 2011

Giving Up on Books

Before any of you start encouraging me to hang in there, I'm talking about books I bought to read - not ones I'm writing.  I just couldn't think of a better title for this post.  If you came here thinking I was about to throw in the towel, I apologize.

Now if you've been here any length of time, you might know that I'm tight with the fundage.  If not, let me explain something.  I hate wasting money.  I lurk around the sale bins at my grocery store.  I become vulture-like at the local thrift stores.  I even stalk the library's discard room for bargains.This makes it even harder for me to give up on a book I paid full price for. 

Imagine if I paid full price for two out of three books in a trilogy.  Oh the horror. 

Okay, here's what happened.  About a year ago, I bought a bunch of books at a 30% off sale.  I just grabbed titles and threw them into my basket.  If it looked interesting, it was in there.  (Because, you know, the only thing I like better than saving money is spending it at a good sale.)  When I got home, Darling Daughter pointed out that one of the books I bought was the third in a trilogy. 

Not a problem, I thought.  I'll just give it a whirl and see if I actually NEED to read the others to see what's going on.  I got about halfway through the first chapter when I felt like I was lost.  The writing seemed sound for a third book and I figured it wasn't the writing, it was me.  So I bought the other two books, thinking I'd gobble those down and read the third.  Get caught up, ya know.

I sat down today to read the first book in the series last week.  I tried.  The starting premise was awesome.  The writing was pretty good.  And then the author took the whole starting premise, threw it out the window and inserted another premise.  Okay, I thought maybe the two premises would run side by side.  Umm, if they do, I couldn't tell by chapter 8 when I flat gave up.

I guess it wasn't me needing to catch up by reading the other two books.  This author's style really just kind of throws things out there and hope the reader catches it - preferably like a lightly tossed ball rather than a cannonball to the face. 

It might be me.  I can be kinda thick sometimes.  On occasion, it takes me a bit to catch the drift of things.  And then again, maybe it was the author.

Anyway, I hate to just give up.  I tried.  Really I did.  Like I said, I got all the way to chapter 8 when I just couldn't take it anymore.  The whole first 8 chapters were a hot mess I couldn't follow.  This is, of course, entirely my opinion.  Someone out there must be reading these books.  Otherwise, there wouldn't be three.  Right?

And this person isn't a three book wonder.  They've written other books in other series.  They've got a following.  They're probably awesome and glittery with shining bank statements and a throbbing fan base.  This series just didn't blow my skirt up.

I'm out like $20 - which sucks - but them's the breaks.  At least I found one awesome author during that bargain sale last year - Nancy A. Collins and her totally incredible Right Hand Magic (Left Hand Magic due out later this year). 

Unfortunately, I'm also left with another entire untried trilogy by a completely different person that I'm now afraid to start.  Still, if I had it to do all over again, I'd throw books into my basket in wild abandon.  After all, if you never try anything new, your brain stagnates.  (I heard a news report about a study once that said something like that, so it's like scientific and junk.)

Ever spent a chunk of your book-buying budget only to hate the books you bought?  How did that make you feel?  Pull up a couch cushion and tell me all about it.  (Just don't use any names or titles or describe the plot so everyone knows which books you're talking about anyway.  That's just mean.  And please note I didn't give names, titles or even gender.  Don't ask.  I'm not trying to hurt anyone here.  I'm just trying to release some frustration without causing injury.)


  1. I'm so sorry that you spent all that $. I've felt burned by a trilogy. And now if I'm not into the first one, I don't continue.

    I've learned not to listen to blog hype. I check real reviews - not just friends before I decide. I spend way too much $ on books as it is.

  2. That hasn't happened to me in awhile. I know it has happened though and it is so frustrating. Hang in there, give yourself a chance to recover and then tryout that other trilogy! :)

  3. I've got books that I'm sure I'll get round to reading, but have been stacked in my tar pile for a couple of years. I hate the thought that I've bought them but won't read them. However I think the time has come to have a clear out.

  4. I've had this happen with series--like I'll love the first book so I'll buy several more, only to discover that the next ones are really, really bad. It's like going to a movie that had awesome previews, only to discover that the best scenes were the previews.