Got your attention on that title. It’s been another interesting week with book discussions, perhaps because we had two great meetings back-to-back we were able to get into longer and better conversations about books. And the theme I heard the most, besides the absolutely delicious strawberry dessert made by Mindy all low-cal, was readers tired of being angry at books. Now don’t despair authors, no one has said they’d hunt you down and shoot you in your sleep or anything really nutty, just an overall frustration at investing in a book and being sorely disappointed. So after reflection and there are only so many ‘heated’ discussions I can take, I thought perhaps we should dissect this reader dilemma.
First problem — voice changes. What do you do when it’s been a long time between books or worse, they go back and re-visit old friends and completely change their sound, ideas, and personalities? Forgiveness is divine I said and was soundly hushed.
Second problem — character killed off Ooh, this one is generally the kiss of death to the readers I know. Kill off a youngish character at your own peril. Some club members are still irate over a death in a book at least 10 years ago. I mean, seriously, some readers bear longer grudges than the woman and her Seiko! Trust me on this one!
Third problem — the characters are tired, the plot seemed phoned-in, we’ve read this before Oh, dear, what happens when it’s obvious the shark was jumped a few books previously? Continue to pick up the book? Use the library? Give it a miss? Time is too short to waste and too many other books out there to read is what I think.
Fourth problem — judging a book by the cover, but it’s really crappy. You can throw a whole bunch of problems in this topic: hair, eye-color and general physique mismatch, cartoony cover and serious material, serious material and humorous content, or worse, dog / cat on cover and NO ANIMAL IN THE BOOK! Can you tell this really was a HOT button topic? I mean, who knew animals had such a following to generate feelings of betrayal if a cute dog is on the cover but not in the book. And let’s not even go to dog-on-cover-cat-in-book debacles! Shudder. That was a loud discussion!
So, now, it’s your turn. WHAT do you do when you feel “betrayed by a book?” Do you actually throw the book against a wall, or in the case of one reader, rip the ear buds out and bounce off the dash of car? Do you give the author another chance? Do you give the series a chance? What’s YOUR solution?
Well, until next time…
Get out there and READ a book…