Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The old “it’s not you it’s me” book

I love the old Seinfeld show. I must admit it took a while of watching to warm up to it but once I did, I saw how brilliantly funny it is. These people are so shallow, but if I’m honest with myself, I really can relate on some levels to their shallowness. One of George’s hilariously classic break-up lines when trying to dump someone for no real apparent reasons was it’s not you, it’s me. Although he didn’t really think so – it was true.

I have a huge stack of books that I’ve given that line too. They are books I know I should like, but for one reason or another I haven’t been able to get into them. Sometimes it takes as little as a page or two before I put it down and move on to the next book. I don’t like what the heroine is described as wearing or something the hero has said irks me. A big “it’s not you, it’s me” no-no in a contemporary is product name dropping. If a book has too many product names, it could be the greatest book ever written but chances are I’ll never know because I won’t have made it out of the gate. In fact that’s a big reason why I have yet to get into the chick-lit. Or worse still, I’ll read the end, before I’m out of chapter 1, won’t really care for the ending and put it down. Now this is the height of unfairness to the book really. By not finishing at least the first chapter, how can I judge the ending? I haven’t really gotten to know the characters yet; I don’t really know what makes them tick or why they did what they did at the end. So because I know I’m being unfair to the book, I don’t want to trade it in; at least until I give it the old college try. And (the very rare times) I go back to a book I’ve abandoned for the most shallow of reasons and low and behold, discover it’s been a pretty damned good book. Other books I get a good way into it, I’m enjoying it, but I just put it down; sometimes never to pick it up again. I’ve done this quite often recently. Even as I’m reaching for the next book I’m thinking I should be liking the current one. And I do, but I just want something different. Some of the recent books I’ve cast callously aside include Michele Albert’s No Way Out, Liz Carlyle’s Three Little Secrets, Gaelen Foley’s His Wicked Kiss. Now all of these are autobuy authors for me so I know it’s not them. In fact I was almost half way through His Wicked Kiss and enjoying it quite a bit when down it went. I don’t think I made it past the first 2 chapters of No Way Out and worse still only 2 pages of Three Little Secrets.

And these are only the latest batch. I have so many more hiding all over the place. One of these days I’m going to have to gather them up and give them another chance ‘cause really – it’s not them, it’s me.

‘til later


Bob & Muffintop said...

I do this too Kristie. I return them to the TBR & leave them there for a longish while before I try them again. If after the second time I still don't like it or can't get into it then it goes to the UBS.

Giselle said...

I have a whole box full of those. This is a recent phenomenon for me as I used to have to finish every dang book I started no matter how wall bang worthy it was.

And I'm so with you on the name dropping thing. That's one of the reasons Crusie hardly ever works for me and one of the many reasons why Nora Roberts is no longer an autobuy.

~ames~ said...

It's kinda funny, but I cannot put a book down unless it is absolutely awful. For things like name dropping, I just kind of tune those out. Sometimes though, I'll put books down because of the way the hero is described. Like maybe he has a job I don't like, or something stupid like that.

Samantha said...

I do the same thing. Most of the time it's just because i'm not in the mood for that kind of story.I picked up and started "Worth Any Price" three different times without making it past page ten. But this last time I picked it up I got sucked in right away.

CindyS said...

Oh, now Amanda has the way of it. When does it become the book and not you? That's where I am having the difficulty. If I have read the book and I didn't like it then fine, it's time to go.

But what about those books I should have loved that I put down 1/2 to 3/4 of a way. I wish I could tell if it really is me or if the book really is as boring as it if feeling. My example - I should have loved Sherrilyn Kenyon but the first book I tried by her I put down 3/4 of the way through. I was just bored. Now I have this book in my TBR pile that I don't know what to do with!

Maybe I should do a post on authors that I should love and get people to recommend their favorite books by that author. If I'm reading everyones favorite then I can safely move on. I'm just always afraid I'm going to miss a great book.

Geez, am I still talking!?

LOST - watch it tonight!!!!! *wiggling with glee*


Tara Marie said...

1. Love Seinfeld, my son can even quote from it.

2. Product name dropping bugs the heck out of me. One author I read had 6 on the first page of her book. I almost threw it across the room.

3. I did this very same thing last month, put down 10 books. I forced myself to finish them this month because they were languishing hopelessly on my hope chest and I wanted them gone for good.

4. No Way Out was on my To Buy List, maybe not now. And, His Wicked Ways was work to read, but overall it wasn't bad.

Kristie (J) said...

Tara *grin* you still have to keep the Albert book on your list. See - I didn't even get far enough to judge if it's good or not. I think I dropped that one more because I felt like reading a historical. That's another reason why I may drop books without even giving them a try - the book is one genre and once I open it I realize I'm just in the mood for a different genre. And - being as your a fan of Seinfeld too - it's like that one episode where Jerry didn't want to go out with the girl because she dated Newman. Nothing wrong with her at all - it was just such a shallow reason not to see her - cause Newman did too *grin*
Cindy: good question - when DOES it become the book and not me. It’s easier to say “I don’t like this book than it is to say I think I should like it and it’s not that I don’t – I just can’t get into it for some reason.
And yes indeedy - I'm looking forward to tonight's Lost.
Samantha: I think that's the main reason too - I'm just not in the mood for that particular book at that particular time.
Aames: I'm not sure if I would want to have that compulsion to finish a book or not *g*. I certainly wouldn't feel like I'd wasted a lot of money.
Giselle: recent hmmm? I'm afraid this is a habit that's hard to break once you get started. Kind of like an end-reader. I hate that I do that but can't seem to stop anymore.
Amanda: nice to know I'm not alone in this. The thing is we can't get rid of them can we - just in case it's a good one and we don't want to miss a good one!

Tara Marie said...

Ack, I just realized I read No Way Out last year, it's her newest one I've got on my TBB list--Hide in Plain Sight. I wasn't all that impressed wiht No Way Out, so I've been hemming and hawing over this one.

Kristie (J) said...

*head smack* and Hide in Plain Sight is the one I meant too. I had the same thoughts as you on No Way Out. But I was going to buy Hide in Plain Sight anyway since of all her books NWO was the only one I was meh about. And I figure every author is allowed at least one meh book. Plus after reading Maili's review of HIPS I wanted to read it.