Can you just stop reading a book that you’ve started? I can’t. I have read a few terrible books cover to cover and while I kept thinking, “this book is terrible,” I couldn’t stop. I can’t help it because this: what if it gets better? What if the author ends up with something profound in the last chapter and I missed it? What if I get to the end and, when it is a complete story, it is really quite touching, or funny, or challenging, or fill-in-the-blank-description? I’ll admit that this has never actually happened to me but, what if?
When books are bad, they generally stay that way. And the worst, is when books seem ok, good even, and the ending is just so ridiculous you want to vomit what you have read from your brain and never think of it again. Case in point, The Notebook. Really Nicky Sparks!? That was the best you could come up with? Creepy. The Notebook is the ONE time Hollywood got it better than the original (that I know of since I haven’t read everything).
Some books, though, are truly amazing. I was introduced to the author Mary Doria Russell in a college class, and we were assigned The Sparrow. I forget the name of the class something along the lines of “Religion in Popular Culture” or something like that. Anyway, she is amazing. Truly. She blows my mind. Every book she has written I have read and every second that I spent reading them has been worth it. PLEASE read her ASAP!
So the reason this is on my mind today is because I am reading a book that while I enjoy it in the moment, I don’t look forward to it. It isn’t a book that I think is terrible, but I can’t tell where the author is going and I feel like I am going to be very disappointed in the end. Should I stop? Probably. I have spent far too many weeks with this on my bedside table. I need to move on! This size book should have take 2-3 days. There are so many more books on my virtual to-read bookshelf that I should just move on. But, I can’t. I just can’t. What if it gets better?