Musing Mondays: Setting aside

musing_mondaysHere’s this week’s question:

How much time (or how many pages) do you give a book that you aren’t really enjoying before you’ll set it aside? If you’re reading it for a book group discussion, or for review, will you give it more of a chance than, say, a book you’re reading for your own interest? Why, or why not?

I have a really hard time not finishing a book — ever. Usually if I’m not enjoying something and getting antsy to start a new novel, I’ll set aside the boring book with the intention of coming back to it later! It’s pretty rare that I consciously decide not to finish reading something, and I don’t have a formula for it . . . basically I stop when I feel like throwing the book across the room, or have rolled my eyes so many times that I’m worried they’ll get stuck in the back of my skull!

I’ve actually stopped reading books just pages from the end . . . because I didn’t care anymore. I couldn’t take another stupid page.

If I’ve been sent a book for review, I absolutely finish it. I’ve made a committment to an author and/or publisher to thoughtfully read and discuss a book, and the ending of a novel is pretty crucial to my overall feelings about a book. Take The Friday Night Knitting ClubI was just about in love with it until I hit, oh, those last 50 pages or so. And then BAM! Total disaster. If I’d reviewed the book prematurely, you’d be sitting with one happy, bubbly Meg. Instead? You get this lovely, caustic version who nurses a love/hate obsession with author Kate Jacobs!

Thankfully I have yet to receive a book for review that I, um, completely despise. That would be awkward. All of the books I’ve hated with a passion were purchased with my own money, so I can feel (slightly) less guilty about that! I’d give up on those way before I’d ever give up on a review book. And I really don’t enjoy hating on the work of others . . . I promise. But some of it is just so terrible, it’s hard to scrape together some positive thoughts on the work as a whole (see: The Anglophile, one of my life’s greatest disappointments!).

And because I love lists, I bring you:


Meg’s Random Assortment of Books Discarded Lately

Phyllida And the Brotherhood of Philander by Ann Herendeen
There’s A (Slight) Chance I Might Be Going To Hell by Laurie Notaro
Pretty Little Mistakes by Heather Mcelhatton



Books Meg Probably Should Have Stopped Reading — 
But Stuck It Out To the Painful, Bitter End

Love The One You’re With by Emily Giffin
Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella
The Anglophile by Laurie Gwen Shapiro
Summer Blowout by Claire Cook
Bring On The Blessings by Beverly Jenkins
Frangipani by Celestine Vaite

Booking Through Thursday: Multiple reads

booking_through_thursLet’s go Booking Through Thursday!

“Some people read one book at a time. Some people have a number of them on the go at any given time, perhaps a reading in bed book, a breakfast table book, a bathroom book, and so on, which leads me to…
1. Are you currently reading more than one book?
2. If so, how many books are you currently reading?
3. Is this normal for you?
4. Where do you keep your current reads? ”

How funny that this question should pop up now! For the first time in, oh, years, I’m actively reading three different novels at the moment! This is stemmed mostly from the sudden influx of review copies (thank you!) and my OCD desire to read and post about them quickly.

crossed_wiresI have Crossed Wires by Rosy Thornton in my room, good for bedtime reading; Gigi Amateau’s A Certain Strain of Peculiar is my purse for daytime and lunchtime reading; and Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway is currently migrating around my house, often plopping down by my chair in the living room for after-dinner-ish reading.

audrey_waitIf you’d asked me a month ago if I could keep up with these three plotlines at once, I would have rolled my eyes a bit and said, “Um, DUH.” No, I’m kidding!

I would have thought sure, I could, but I’m a literature purist — I usually like focusing all of my time and energy on following one story and really getting invested in the characters. Sometimes I get a little jumbled up when trying to read about too many different people at once, particularly if each book is in the same genre. I can only read about so many sassy, indepenent 20-somethings looking for love before they all blend together in my brain.

certain_strainBut now, I’m finding I can still do that get the jist of everything… while reading several books at once, just like the ol’ college days! I would have novels and textbooks flying everywhere! And somehow I emerged from the reading mess victorious, so I guess I can do it again. It’s kind of fun, really — always have that new adventure just waiting out for me. And since I can never wait to start a new book — honestly, I get kind of antsy if I’m reading the same book for too long — this may be a good system for me. Especially if I’m reading a really “heavy” book and need something lighter to balance it out… I hate reading depressing material before bed. Nightmares!

Musing Mondays: Down for the count

musing_mondaysQuite a cold Monday in Maryland! Here’s this week’s question:

How does your being sick (or injured) affect your reading? Do you read more? Less? Do you pick out a different book than you had already planned? Do you have a “comfort book” that makes you feel better?

I was down with the flu myself two weekends ago, and let me tell you — I didn’t want to do anything. After the initial bouts of terrible nausea had passed and I was laying on the couch, totally inert and exhausted, I felt around a bit for the paperback I was reading at the time (Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead, in case you were wondering!). But I didn’t even have the energy to read my novel. So as a whole, I would have to say I read far less when I’m sick. Bad colds usually don’t keep me home, and when I’m majorly sick with a bug or other ailment, all I can do is stare at the television for hours and hours on end.

I don’t have a comfort book, or anything vaguely resembling that, but that’s a clever idea. I will say that if I’m really upset and just need to get my mind off things, I typically turn to one of the young adult books in my stack. Meg Cabot’s books always make me feel better.