Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wednesday Words: But I Don't Like It

I like to consider myself a decently read person even though I'm still relatively young. This is largely due to my education - I was lucky enough to go to a high school, university, and now a graduate school that challenge me to read books I wouldn't ordinarily read. They've helped me branch out, explore different genres I may not have considered on my own, and feel like I'm a part of a greater Community of Readers. Were it not for higher education, I'm not sure I ever would have found my way to YA lit, and that would have been a shame.

Since this blog of mine is a purely recreational hobby and not something that I'm paid to do in any way, there's a definite trend in my book selections and reviews here. Almost all of them are YA, many are written by women and/or have a female protagonist. Most of my reviews are positive because why would I read a book for fun if it sounds like something I'll hate? What a waste of time...right?

I'm actually a bit conflicted on this front. What do you do when you find yourself reading a book that just isn't right for you, that no matter how hard you try, it's just not clicking or there's simply something about it you don't like?

Some people abide by the 50 page rule for their recreational reading habits: if you're reading something and just not into it by page 50, then it's time to put it down and try something else. If that works for you, that's great, but personally I can't see myself actually doing it. I know plenty of people who missed out on an amazing ride with Harry Potter just because they thought the first 50 pages of Sorcerer's Stone were a bit on the boring side.

So I usually stick it out, sometimes multiple times to varied results. I posted not long ago about re-reading the books I love, but I have also actually taken the time to re-read books I didn't care for the first time around. I was seventeen the first time I ever read Frankenstein, a high school senior who didn't have the easiest time getting into the story within a story within a letter. It was merely alright in my opinion, but then when I read it again as a student teacher four years later, I got really into it. The experience has made me want to re-read other books I only read in the context of my high school English classes and see if my opinions change.

However, sometimes my feelings don't change that much. I first read The Catcher in the Rye when I was 15 and I just felt like I was missing something. I read it again last spring and while I definitely was able to see more than I did before, I still feel like I'm on the outside and it pains me when I dislike Classics, Great Literature like this. And so, probably sometime in the next year, I'll read it yet again.

It's a roundabout way of getting to the point, I know, but I'm curious what others do when they find themselves reading a book they don't particularly like, and have you ever given it another chance? Comments welcome as always, and happy reading!

1 comment:

  1. There are just some books that you can't even pay me to re-read because I disliked them so much.

    Though, you do make a great point. It's good to re-read because sometimes with time we grow to become better readers. I feel like after going to college and changing my major and having to read so much philosophy especially, ironically made me a better reader of fiction.

    I read the Harry Potter books now, and though I loved them back when I discovered them in middle school, I can see how much things I missed the first time around.