Discontent

It’s occurred to me that I haven’t really enjoyed a book I have finished to the point of almost loving it since January. There was a writer’s block prompt which read: “What was the last great book you read?” My response would have to be Runemarks. Everything since that time has been average or just not fulfilling as much potential as it could be. So often I find myself going like this:

There are some books I have sitting on my shelf that I am looking forward to reading, yet I am waiting before indulging in those titles because several will involve rereading the first books so that my unreliable memory is refreshed and I can judge a book fairly if it is continuing a story. So I turn to stand alone books and library check-outs. Although I suppose my ulterior motive for deciding if there are any books I can clear out that I probably won’t want after all may play no small part in the choice for recent reading material. I guess I have no one to blame but myself for setting lofty goals of wishing to chisel out most of my TBR pile during 2012.

Still I want to really feel a great attachment to the books I read again. I want to care for the characters, I want to lose myself in the story, I want to wrap my tongue around the language, and I want to hold it tight and swear to never let it go. In short I want to react something like this when I am reading:

I am left wondering which of those titles sitting quietly on the shelf will be the ones to accomplish this for me. Will it be Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell? Mother of the Believers? The Diary of a Young Girl? The Tokaido Road? Watership Down? Till We Have Faces? This bookworm will keep calm and think of Disney Prince Loki read on.

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6 thoughts on “Discontent

    • Hearing such praise about it on blogs made me go to the bookshop and buy it before my purchasing ban went into effect. I keep holding off on it though yet perhaps for the reasons you do with The Night Circus.

  1. I know what you mean about not caring about characters you are reading about, etc. I’ve felt like that for about three or four years with the books I read and it tends to happen with books that were published after the mid 2000’s. Books published before that I tend to get on with better. I have come to the conclusion that with some authors, particularly newer ones, it could be down to the fact that they spend too much time marketing their book on their blogs and social networking sites because it seems funny to me that this has happened when the internet is widely available to people. I was reading Patricia Briggs’ blog (which is maintained a lot by her husband) about how authors should promote themselves on the internet and it made me smile – http://www.patriciabriggs.com/news/

    Another theory is that authors write books for NanoWriMo and then don’t fix all the flaws or add depth to the characters before the book is published, as NanoWriMo has become popular in recent years (yeah, it’s fun if you’re an amateur writer, but should you really be expecting a book that is of publishable quality if you’re a professional? I don’t think so. I’ve even seen it where authors who write Young Adult books can’t take criticism when readers point out where they could write better books if they took note of reader feedback (and it should really be points that should be picked up by editors and proof readers before the book is published, not after.)

    That’s not to say that books published before 2000 were all brilliant, because I’ve read some which I just couldn’t get into. I also think that part of the problem is that I read a lot of Urban Fantasy which is great when it is written brilliantly, but absolutely dismal if written badly. It seems to me that authors write things too quickly and that publishers are too quick to let books go to publication, these days. I also get sick of books which are over-hyped before they are published (and in some cases, because they are going to be turned into a film) and then you find the book is disappointing when you read it. I think that e-book publishing might also be a problem as well because it’s cheaper for publishers to publish them (and there’s loads of self-publishing that goes on in this area, which is OK if they are established authors, but I have to really look at it if they are previously unpublished to see if I think it’s worth reading it – I hate doing it but I’m fed up of wasting my time when it comes to reading on books that disappoint me.)

    Now, I’ve cut down on reading new authors and tend to stick with ones I know that I like.

    I am reading A Game of Thrones at the moment, and it’s the first book to engage me since I read The Two Towers. It is going quite slowly because it’s a long book and I do wish I’d bought that book years ago now and not had it bought to my attention because of a TV series made from it. (It makes me feel like a fickle fan following trends, when I try not to be like that.)

    Watership Down happens to be one of my favourite books and I bought a new copy of it recently to read again because I’ve not read it for a few years, and it’s one of the books which got me into reading fiction in the first place.

    • My idea of a writer could be summed up as the line from Midnight in Paris, “He writes. He rewrites. He rewrites the rewrites.” Sometimes you wish that authors would do that before they get published and have beta readers that aren’t their friends to give them honest feedback. I think it would save a lot of the junk flooding the market.

  2. i read somewhere that a great book is something that creates a feeling of loss once you finished it. i have yet to feel that because the last books i read were okay but not ott so i guess i know how you feel. i hope something fantastic comes along soon enough for you.

  3. I’ve been feeling the same way. Most books are okay and a few of them I quite like, but I haven’t fallen in love with a book for a long time.

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