A novel may be a friend, companion, and traveling partner — but it’s not a person. If it isn’t working out, let it go! No one will be hurt, and you’ll have more time for the next one.
Here are two ways to walk away from a novel — and tomorrow we’ll explore seven reasons why you should stop reading one (a guest post from Randall Payleitner).
The slow fade . . .
When a story doesn’t interest me, the characters are artificial, or the writing is vapid, I wander off. Readers can be drawn into anything — even a giant, floating peach. But if the peach isn’t floating your way, drift elsewhere.
Rejection . . .
I’m patient man, but we all have boundaries. When my good faith interest in a story is violated by a celebration of the intolerable, I don’t drift off. I walk away. Fiction is not theoretical — it’s experiential. The reader lives in the story, and if the story repeatedly violates my convictions, I choose different company. Which is OK. That author probably wouldn’t choose to spend time with me either.
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I wish I could do that, but I simply can’t abandon a book even if I completely dislike it. It’s a bit of an OCD thing. Besides, I don’t feel like I can formulate a proper opinion if I don’t read it to the end!
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