On not finishing books

Lately I have gotten into a bad habit of not finishing books. There are great deal of books I have started reading this year and then thrown in the towel. There are many different reasons why I cannot seem to get past certain sections. Reading takes effort and concentration that does not always come easy. Some books are boring, too descriptive or just didn’t float my boat. Some others I plan on finishing, at some point.

One of the problems of studying writing is that I cannot read a badly written book without it irritating me. Why? Because they use writing techniques that we are taught not to do: bad use of flashbacks, overuse of adjectives to create lazy conversation, using clichés and corny sentences. Yes, I am being shaped into a book snob whether I want to be one or not. I do like to examine why I give up on books, reading books which you don’t like are often just as an important as those you love.

The God of Little Things by Arundhati Roy

What’s it about?- A Booker winning prize book, set in India about a family and the death of a young girl in their family and the effect this has on them all for the rest of their lives.

How far did I get? – About half way through.

Why did I give up? – It is full with beautiful sentences and interesting characters rich in sensory it is differently not boring. What grated me was it was not told in chronological order and was very slow-moving. It constantly told each character’s life story which meant dipping back in time and I could not feel a sense of progression of where the story was going which got on my nerves.

The Second Assistant by Clare Naylore and Mimi Hare

What’s it about? –  Girl gets a job to work in Hollywood as a second assistant. Many shenanigans, sex and Hollywood characters to follow.

How far did I get? – About sixty pages in.

Why did I give up? – I disliked the protagonist. There was plenty of plot progression but no character development. It is clichéd chick lit with little surprise or even any wit. The main character was supposed to be witty but I didn’t find anything interesting about her. I know this is a lame thing to say when you don’t like a book but it was the only thing I could put my finger on. It is told in a first person perspective but it may as well be in third person as the book is so distant and with little insight into Elizabeth – lizzy.

Arrabella Candlelabra and the Questy thing to end all Questy things by A.K Wrox.

What’s it about? – A fun project for A.K Wrox (two authors) that is a take off of fantasy and romance. There’s a very oiled up hunk, gay fairy (with scrotum-like wings), the wisest wizard of all and Arrabella the golden female who leads on their quest.

How far did I get? – about 40%  (my e-reader is very accurate)

Why did I give up? – Through exasperation. I bought this book for $2.99 for a light hearted, funny read. This book was written through Facebook and then published through independent publishers Candestine Press. It is not badly edited but still has a few grammar errors which made my eye twitch.

It is very repetitive in it’s description, ‘Arrabella looked at him, he looked at her, she looked at him.’ I may take my fantasy too seriously it seems as I didn’t find the weird plot funny, ‘oh yay a skateboard. We’re saved!’ Not sure where the book was going so yeah, gave up.

Are there any books you have read lately that you couldn’t get through?



Filed under books, writing

3 responses to “On not finishing books

  1. Louisa Cameron

    The authors of Arrabella Candellarbra are not self-published at all. They were published by Clan Destine Press – and independent publishing company.

    • Shannon McKeogh

      Hi Louisa, my mistake, I think I got confused because it is avaliable through their own website as well. I did purchase the book through Clan Destine Press so I am not sure why I thought it was self-published. I guess it was because of the grammar errors, but it could be a problem with any publication really. Thanks for your comment.

  2. Louisa

    interested to know about the ‘grammar’ errors…

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