Friday, October 15, 2010
Finishable and unfinishable books: A debate
Books we are unable to finish. We all have them. But what makes a book unfinished compared to the ones that are. Is it a reflection upon the author or the reader? I think it can be a bit of both.
An unfinished book to me is one that is horrible bad and boring, horrible boring in itself, or just plain bad. Most of the time a book becomes unfinished because i lost interest or because i don't like a theme an author used. After going through years of college reading books i hate i feel the right to not finish a book. Why should I be bored out of my mind to merely finish... Another thing is that i have certain taboos. I don't tolerate rape, pedophilia, incest, or relationship abusive behavior in a book. If a book contains those things then i won't read them.
Those who know me might say how did you get through the Twilight series. It's well known that i loath that series with a passion and think it's destroying the minds and values of the young. The series really contains every one of my taboos (except rape, but if you really want to go there...) and try to disguise it as "love". The thing is that though the series was so utterly horrible and poorly written i knew i needed to finish it in order to have a clear right to express my opinion. Sometimes the need to be-able to articulate and say why you didn't like something can be the push to finish a book. Plus then the crazies can't say " How can you say that? Have you never read the books?" I can now say i have and i want those hours of my life back.
Another thing that can drive a badly or horribly written book to be finished is that it's so bad you can't put it down. You just have to keep on watching the train wreak. That train wreak sometimes because so bad that it's fun to make fun of. I believe everyone has read those books where you can't help but laugh at how bad they are. I know i can name a few off the top of my head where i've crack up about them afterwards.
So what makes a book finish-able. The most common answer for me is that it keeps my interest or leaves me wanting more. There has only been a few books i can successfully say i "couldn't put it down". The Harry potter, Percy Jackson, and a few other choice books can be name off the top of my head. Funnily the first book i read round the clock wasn't a Harry Potter book. I've finished those in a day or two, but never read them over night. I wanted to read what happened next, but i also wanted to savor the books longer. No it was the first Percy Jackson book that i read from 4pm straight on to 2.20am. The series was a breath of fresh air after not having any series keep my interest after HP finish.
Yet not every book can be one of the "specials". Most are just normal books. These books usually contain a mixture of elements that make them finish-able and unfinished. I know most authors want to be one of the "Golden"; and though Stephine Meyer proved that even a brainless rock can get published, most authors create books that leave it to the reader whether to finish or not. It's up to them to create elements in a book that makes the reader want to turn the page. Some of these elements may be genre related, character driven, twist of a plot, or just an new or genius idea. Give me a tortured hero and you guarantee that i will keep reading the pages till the last. Obi-Wan Kenobi is in the book i'm there till i drop. A Bunny is main character or a new and interesting plot; are you writing a sequel? Each reader has their own "things" that makes them want to turn the pages. It's these things that can make a book finish-able or one to be quickly put down as it was put up.