Thursday, 10 May 2018

What to do when a book recommendation isn't doing it for me.

I'm very lucky to have many good friends who recommend books for me to read. Some are even kind enough to pass books on when they've finished reading them. And sometimes I have found a real gem this way.

But what do I do when someone sends a book that they've loved but that leaves me cold?

It seems mean to discard the book. After all it was given with love and good intentions. But as I get older I'm less tolerant of spending time on things that don't bring me joy. And life is too short to spend it reading books that I don't enjoy. I'm also less bothered by stopping a book that isn't doing it for me. I used to think that I had to finish every book I started, even the real stinkers. I prided myself that I had only abandoned one book - Captain Corelli's Mandolin, I'm looking at you! Now I will put a book down and walk away if it isn't speaking to me. After all there are so many books to read and so little time.

But what do I tell the giver of the gift? Do I confess that the book wasn't for me? Or do I spare their feelings and say it was OK?

At the moment I'm struggling with a book that just isn't doing it for me. I find the writing clunky and it's grating on me as I read. I'm only a few pages in so I'll give it a little longer but if I don't get gripped soon I'll have to leave it. It's only fair to all the other book cluttering my desk, table, chest of drawers etc.

Sometimes, something has to give. And it's sometimes a disappointing book.

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