Not all books out there are gems. Or if they are (which would be incredible), books are certainly not "one size fits all" beings. That's why there are so many different genres, authors, styles, imprints, and levels to them, and the lines are continually blurring, giving us all even more directions to go into and explore. Options can be great because it means that the chances of there being something you actually like increase.
But what do you do when you find yourself reading a book for recreational purposes that's just not for you? At what point do you make the choice to keep going with it or just give up and move on to something else?
This is not a rhetorical question by any means, and I'm genuinely interested in what people have to say about this. I know with my students, I usually tell them the rule of thumb that a few of my teachers/peers in library school went by - if you're not interested by page 50, maybe it's time to move on. But that's difficult for me. Maybe it's because I'm a writer too, so I know that sometimes with different people's styles, things take a little longer to unfold (though 50 pages is an awfully long time, especially if the book is only 2-300 pages long in the first place). I also know that I've settled into a definite comfort zone as of late that I want to break out of. Plus, as is the case with some things I've read lately, perhaps the book has gotten really great buzz, glowing reviews from others, and has even been nominated for a really huge honor, so I feel like I'm just missing something, like I'm the only one weird enough to not see what is totally fantastic about this book even though it's apparently obvious to everyone else.
(I know that's not really true, but it sure can feel that way from time to time.)
My personal choice is to keep on trucking, and if it's a library book, if I still haven't finished it by the time the three week check-out period is over, I just return it. If it's not a library book or there's still time left, I choose to power through and hope my mind will be changed.
But what do you think? Please leave your thoughts and comments - I'm genuinely interested in what you all think!