Monday, September 20, 2010

Turn Off, Turn On

Right now, I’m reading a very good mystery. Not an unusual occurrence, but here’s the thing: I know I’ve picked this book up before (it’s a few years old) and put it down, thinking I wouldn’t like it. But, obviously, I do.

So what turned me off before?

  • The title? Probably not.
  • The author? No.
  • The cover art? Doubtful, cover art won’t usually make me put a book down.
  • Back cover copy? No.
  • The first page? Nope.

Maybe I had something to read that I thought I’d enjoy more. Maybe I just wasn’t in the “mood” to read this kind of book at the time. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

It makes me wonder. How many other enjoyable books have I shunned?

Does this ever happen to you? Explanations?



JournoMich said...

Definitely. Though, honestly, not too often. There have been a couple that didn't sit well the first time (usually b/c of my own mood or whatever was going on with me then), but ended up being perfect a bit later.

Really? I'm usually on the mark in choosing books. If I don't think I'm going to like it--and I do everything from reading random pages to checking the back copy and the print date--then I'm usually right.

Glad you found a new read hidden with your old ones!


Terry Odell said...

I have a few 'try again later' books; I rarely don't finish something I start, although I will read really really fast if I'm not enjoying it.

As to why a book will resonate at a later date--I have books that read better at different times of day -- afternoon reads when I don't really have time to get lost vs in bed reads when there's nothing hanging over my head.

As a writer, I gravitate toward different books depending on where I am with my WIP; do I need books that are totally different, or am I looking for "Gee, what a great way to approach that?" kinds of things.

But definitely never a title or cover. Maybe the blurb, which could tell me if I'm in the right place for that kind of a story.

Terry's Place
Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

Elspeth Futcher said...

I've certainly had this experience. I've picked up a book and for whatever reason it's left me cold. It gets put down. I'll pick it up again a few month (or longer) later and suddenly I'm really enjoying it. I have no idea why, but I suspect it's a symptom of some deep-seeded issues - or at least, that's the most interesting explanation I can come up with on the spur of the moment.

Karen Russell said...

This is the first cousin of the syndrome I suffer from, which is thinking something looks so great and later picking it up and thinking, "why on earth did I think I'd like this one?" ; )

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I do that a lot. I think it happens when someone recommends a book to me...and then it's just not grabbing me.

When I choose it for myself, later on, then it seems like I end up actually reading it.

Maybe I'm just completely neurotic. :)

Alan Orloff said...

Michele - Usually when I pick up a book a second time, whatever it was that turned me off, turns me off again.

Terry - I agree about reading certain kinds of books depending on what I'm writing. Often, I'll end up reading non-fiction (Dilbert counts as non-fiction, right?) when I'm in the middle of writing something.

Elspeth - Were we separated at birth?

Karen - I have a bookcase full of those kind of books. Maybe one day...

Elizabeth - My kids are like you. If I recommend it, it automatically stinks. On a related note, I have a friend who recommends movies to me. It works great. Every movie he recommends, I make sure to avoid.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

If a book sounds too similar to what I just finished reading, I’ll put it down. Sometimes my mood has something to do with deciding not to read a particular book. But I do usually get back to read the “rejects” sooner or later.

Patricia Stoltey said...

Sure, I have a few books sitting around with bookmarks in them, books I couldn't quite get into at the moment. Sometimes I get back to them. Sometimes I end up giving them away.