October wrap up – and some issues about finishing books

October was a month where I read books about animals or which had animals in their titles. There were quite a lot, although mostly the animal name used was a description of something more human. I don’t actually often read books about animals or where they play a big role – I like to read about people and their relationships with each other. The same thing happened when my monthly theme was landscape and the majority of the books I read just had a landscape related word in their titles.

As the weather is changing (it is raining heavily as I write this) and has been doing so for a couple of days while the temperature has fallen I am aware that we are definitely into autumn and winter isn’t far away. Based on that I am going to blog in November about seasons – books which emphasise a season or where the word is used in a title. I have a list of books to read/blog about seasons and also an increasing list of books that fit previous themes which I also want to review/talk about. If I can apply myself it should be a busy month on the blog.

One of the things that I do rather than read or write more blogs is scroll through Twitter. I like Twitter and spend far too much time on it. A lot of the people I follow are writers or fellow book bloggers and sometimes a discussion becomes quite active with lots of people joining in with their views. There have been a couple in the past month or so which have been about reading but the one that attracted my attention the most was about whether or not to finish a book.

The original tweet said that it was disrespectful to an author to purchase a book and not finish reading it. Many people joined in this argument commenting either that they agreed with the tweet, or that it was ridiculous and that any reader was perfectly entitled, in fact encouraged, to abandon a book if they were not enjoying it. A further tweet reopened the argument by saying that if people abandon books they find too difficult that they will only ever read easy books and never stretch themselves. The final tweet which caused an additional outburst of opinion was that it was more disrespectful to buy a book and never read it and that if you thought that you might never get around to reading it that you shouldn’t buy it in the first place.

I have met people before who say that they never leave a book unfinished. I don’t abandon many but I don’t think that continuing to read a book I am not enjoying somehow makes me morally a better person. In fact, I don’t usually abandon books because they are too “hard” for me but because I don’t enjoy the writing style, or there is a plot device or a character that I don’t like. And even if I only read really easy books and never anything challenging then I don’t see what’s wrong with that – I read for entertainment and enjoyment after all.

The majority of those commenting on this discussion felt the same as I did. I was amused by the authors replying that they don’t want people to read their books if they aren’t enjoying them and also that they are quite happy if people buy their books and don’t read them so long as they pay for them ! There is. however, still this opinion that we have in our culture, possibly starting at school, that people should read “worthy” books and that they should never abandon one unread. If you think that you are going to see a lot of hard or difficult books on this blog then you will be mistaken – I read what I enjoy and stop reading it if I don’t. There are plenty of books out there that I haven’t got to yet so I’m not spending my time on books that I don’t enjoy – I’d read more too if I wasn’t always following this type of discussion on Twitter !

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