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 hyoid
Joined: 5/12/2009
Msg: 1
Book false startsPage 1 of 1    
I'm running into more books that I can't seem to get very far into.

In high school a friend recommended a series that I only read 100 pages before putting it down for 5 years- That was the Lord of the Rings. I enjoyed it when I picked it up again.

But I've tried Joyce's Ulysses 3 times now. Just can't sustain momentum. Last week it was Wolfe's Look Homeward, Angel. The prose is good, really thick and descriptive but the narrative seems to stop, then start, then stop again.

Do you forge on ahead with books that don't fit you perfectly? What's your strategy?
 kornbluth
Joined: 12/25/2006
Msg: 2
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Book false starts
Posted: 10/5/2009 9:14:04 AM

Do you forge on ahead with books that don't fit you perfectly?

For a while. Sometimes skip ahead to see if it's going anywhere. But if it doesn't grab me pretty soon, and I can see I'm not going to remember anything. Good writers usually snare the reader in the first paragraph.


What's your strategy?

Start another book that has a good reputation. Plenty of them out there; more than you may live long enough to read. Library, used-books stores, garage sales. Read 'em and pass them on, before they're all landfill.
 hyoid
Joined: 5/12/2009
Msg: 3
Book false starts
Posted: 10/10/2009 12:03:40 PM

Read something that interests you, not something that you think will make you seem intellectual on POF forums....Just a thought,,,,,,


Not much of one but thanks all the same.

I try them because they do interest me. Their longevity in print, the reputations of the authors and their other works, spur my curiosity. But they're difficult.

There are many things I've learned and mastered that were difficult at the beginning. Some I puzzled out on my own but for most I asked for help. I can't say "Stick with the easy stuff" has been particularly useful advice.
 CatManDo1959
Joined: 2/23/2008
Msg: 4
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Book false starts
Posted: 10/10/2009 6:41:35 PM
I usually avoid series based books, too long of a commitment. The exception, since it was only a trilogy and really grabbed me was Weiss & Hickman's initial Dragonlance series. Great characterizations. Lately, I picked up a used copy of the Zelazny Nine Princes in Amber because it's a famous bit o'sf I recognized. Then I run across the fact it's part of a ten volume series. I'm not too far in but I guess I'll continue and see what I make of it.

I picked up a copy of Don Quixote at Chapters several years ago. That was a tough slog but I made it through because it was such a benchmark. I think as a male, generalizations aside), plot driven books like movies make for an easier read. My favourites, Bester's The Stars My Destination and The Demolished Man, the Conan series, those based on Alien, and stories by Harlan Ellison and Dale Brown. I'm capable of precocious verbiage but on paper it can unneccessarily slow down the pace and flow.
 smartypants24
Joined: 8/3/2009
Msg: 5
Book false starts
Posted: 10/11/2009 12:05:40 PM
If I'm not into it within 2-3 sessions/days of reading, 200 pages, or about 1/5 of the book, I put it away...if it's a Classic, I might try again later...it took me 5 tries to read Hawaii...now I've read it 3 times...it took me 2 tries to get through the Lord of the Rings series...and I plan to start them again soon. I reread books/series that I really enjoyed, and will pay full price for books that complete the series if needed (I usually only buy second hand books). I read for pleasure only these days, now that I'm done with school, and if i'm not enjoying a book, I'm not going to force myself to read it just because someone else thought it was great...I need to make my own decisions on that :)
 pfif
Joined: 6/11/2012
Msg: 6
Book false starts
Posted: 7/7/2012 9:32:36 PM
I throw it on a category list in Kindle and let it go. If it's been a
while, I reread backwards n pages. Longer, I start over.

I'm tackling Ulysses at the moment. It helps to read it out
loud, to get a feel for the pace and rhythm. Also, I let go my usual
habit of looking up any word I'm unsure of, since the vocabulary
is a draw far afield from what I know about.

In general, I'll buy another book, and read it, in between smaller
samples from a book I'm not making good headway into. I probably
have more than a dozen books on Kindle that may take years
before I get much further with them, but since the options are right
at hand, it's a bit easier to jump ship.

I have plenty of books loaded on Kindle that I only meant to pause
in the reading -- I don't consider those false starts so much as having
opportunity to change up, and taking it for simple variety.

I'm still in book two of The Baroque Cycle and it's hard to take it,
sometimes, the way he writes -- the side-trips. I get plot hungry. I keep
waiting for something to happen there. A change. Just one more chapter
until the top of the hill is reached.

Only it's just a plateau; then: more hill.
 justagrlwithacat
Joined: 2/7/2011
Msg: 7
Book false starts
Posted: 7/13/2012 8:55:33 PM
One of the classics I tried picking up twice only to both times get maybe a quarter into it....Emma. I can only read so many times how beautifully glorious a letter is.
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