Thursday, November 12, 2009

BTT: Too Short?

When I first looked at this week's Booking Through Thursday prompt, I thought the question “Too Short?” referred to the length of a book. Instead, it asks, “Do you read everything all the way through or do you feel life really is too short to read bad books?”. Deb also says, “I’d always heard that, but I still read books through until the end no matter how bad they were because I had this sense of obligation.” and I can definitely identify with that sense of obligation.

In one of my earlier BTT posts I tell about forcing myself to finish reading Lord Foul's Bane by Stephen Donaldson, even though I was hating it. I concluded “While I couldn't get that time back, I did decide that I would no longer consider it a failure if I abandoned a book part-way through. It's rare that I give up on a book. I have been known to set one aside for a very long time and eventually return to it. But when I just know I can't find anything to enjoy in the book and I'm not interested in any of the sequels, I'm now willing to just admit I picked a book that isn't going to work for me and move on.”

In fact, I do keep a list of books that I've started but not finished reading, and why I didn't finish it. Where I can, I also record the page or chapter where I abandoned the book. This will help me find my place if I later decide to pick up the book and finish it.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

What are people reading on the plane?

That's the question I just have to get answered when I travel. I am always peeking at book covers or even accosting the few readers who are carrying Kindle or Sony e-Book devices to see what books are popular. I get a lot of suggestions for books to read from fellow travellers.

Seated in my row on today's flight is a woman from Midland, Texas, who is carrying a Kindle 2. She's reading True Blue by David Baldacci, and we talked just a bit about Baldacci and his books. In fact, the very first book I read on my Kindle (and the first e-Book I bought from was Baldacci's Stone Cold, third book in his Camel Club series. When I opened the package containing my Kindle in February 2008, I had just finished reading The Collectors and the sequel had recently been released in hardback. I availed myself of Amazon's $9.99 pricing for best-sellers and immediately purchased, downloaded, and read the book.

On the row behind me, a young woman is reading The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma, third in this young adult series by Trenton Lee Stewart. I purchased the Kindle edition of the first book in this series, simply titled The Mysterious Benedict Society, in July 2008. I'm not sure when I started reading it, but I finished it on 2 August, and recommended it to Jan and Gretchen. I definitely want to pick up both The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey and The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma. I only need to make time to read them. Unfortunately, that may need to wait until I catch up just a bit more with the books I owe to swappers at BookObsessed.

Kiln People by David BrinAnd me, what am I reading? It's Kiln People by David Brin. I really enjoyed his Uplift novels and The Postman, but for some reason I had been reluctant to start reading Kiln People. I picked up the paperback from John Nicol a long time ago, probably in 2003 or so, but have just had the book sitting on my shelves waiting for me to get around to reading it. I offered it in the SFF VBB at BookObsessed, and Wendy picked it out and there I was. Now obligated to mail it to her. And since I consider it a personal failing if I have to mail a book unread, I'm now well engrossed in the story—page 293 of 568—and thoroughly enjoying it.