Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Question About Reading

I promise, I’m not trying to be nit-picky here, but something’s bothering me. It’s nothing earth-shattering so don’t let your palms grow clammy. I just wondered if this bothers you, too. Who knows? Maybe it’s just me who gets shaken (not stirred!) when this happens.

I’ll cut to the chase. Recently I bought a book by an author whose last book I adored. I couldn’t wait to read this new book, but I put it aside for a time when I could really enjoy it, rather than reading it on the fly. Then, February’s resolution (exercise!) came along, and with it the perfect opportunity to dive into the book. My thirty minutes of stationary peddling provides the best chance for uninterrupted reading, so on the first I eagerly opened the book and began to read.

Mid-way through the first chapter I put the book down. I don’t think I’ll ever finish it. And I doubt I’ll buy anything else in this series. Why? The heroine is ill. Not just sniffly ill, but seriously ill. I don’t expect she will pass away, but I do know that if the author is true to the disease and its circumstances, things are going to be tough for the character for a while, if not for the rest of her life.

I can’t do it. I just can’t read the book, knowing the possibility of “watching” her suffer—even to live!—will appear in the coming chapters.

How do you feel about this issue?

I’m not trying to stir up controversy, be mean or disrespectful. I’m just saying that I can’t “escape” into a story filled with heartache, even if the ending is positive (which I sincerely hope it is!) for the heroine.

So there you have it, my reading question. Any thoughts?

Just so you know, I began reading a Regency romance instead, and have kept to my thirty-minute exercise resolution. Reading something interesting makes the time fly, and I’ve noticed that some days I’ve spent an extra ten minutes or so pedaling just so I might finish a chapter. All good, I think.


Dru said...

Without even reading the rest of this post before commenting, I would not finish this book, simply because I don't like reading about a serious illness in a story that I expect to have a happy resolutions.

Nicole McCaffrey said...

Definitely a deal breaker for me. I read for escapism, relaxation and entertainment. Serious illnesses, IMHO, are not entertaining.

If I want to be depressed or educated about serious issues in society, I need look no farther than the evening news. And I've learned I sleep much better at night if I don't watch it, LOL.

Great post!

Wendy said...

Nicole, well said.

Marianne Arkins said...

I don't do that kind of emotional destruction. I'm not into angst. I read romance to escape ... even with a happy ending, I don't like being wrung out all through the book. So, yeah, count me in the two thumbs down crowd.