Friday, April 4, 2008

Books That Bore Us

It's something that happens to every reader. You start a book with mile-high expectations, perhaps because it has been recommended by a friend or because it is considered one of the "Great Books", and you throw yourself into the story, expecting to be entertained, delighted and satisfied. And then it happens. Slowly, chapter by chapter, you begin to realize that maybe this book isn't quite what you thought it was going to be. You begin to lose interest first in the characters, and then in the plot itself. Finally, you give up and either place the book back on the shelf or return it to the library. You then move on to the next one, hoping that it will give you more satisfaction.
There many reasons why people stop reading books. Sometimes, they find things in there that greatly offend them. Sometimes, they find that they no longer have the time to read. But most of the time it is mainly because, well, the book is boring. There are plenty of books that I have started and stopped for all of the above reasons.
  • Moby Dick: This is one that I started because it's considered a "Great Book". I was trying to kick myself out of 19th century Britain, so I thought I would try to read this American classic. It's actually fairly easy reading, with extremely short chapters, but about halfway through it I lost all interest.
  • Gulliver's Travels: This is one that I have started many times and I can't seem to ever get past the first chapter. I'll be honest, it just plain confuses me.
  • The Grapes of Wrath: I started reading this when I was about 16, and ended up stopping because the language got to me after awhile. I have considered picking it up again as I have gotten older.
  • Master and Commander: I wanted to read this one because I love the movie, but I found the book to be kind of boring. The language was beginning to be a problem, plus, unless you are familiar with a lot of seafaring terminology (which I am not) it can get pretty confusing.

There is nothing wrong with putting down a book, for whatever reason. The beauty of reading is that you can always put it down and then come back to it either days, months or years later. Re-reading is also a good idea. Books that you considered boring when you first read them might be better after you have changed and matured as a reader and as a person. Plus, some books( like The Three Musketeers and The Brothers Karamazov) have to be finished to be fully appreciated.

So, what books have you put down lately? Are there any that you found to be better the second time around? Are there any that you thought were boring until you finished it? Sound off if you like!


Anonymous said...

Actually, I thought Sense and Sensibility started out rather boring. I finally plowed through it though,and after a while it got to be more interesting. =D

bookwormans said...

Actually, I think that most of Jane Austen's books are rather boring in the beginning. I guess that just goes to show that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover or its first chapter!