Meagan Cahuasqui is an avid book reader and frequent contributor for CulturaColectiva+. If you also want to be part of our growing pool of contributors, click on this link and send a 400-word article for the chance to be featured in our website.
A few years ago, I picked up a book at my local, second-hand bookstore because I recognized the name on the cover: it was my fiction workshop professor from college.
@isa_escn The story’s premise sounded like something in my wheelhouse, so that gave it double points. As happens with most of my book purchases, it sat on my desk for a while collecting dust.
But this was the year I decided to pick it up and start reading. Except, after just a few pages in, I simply had no interest in the story or the writing.
I put the book down for a couple of days, thinking it was just my recent respiratory infection that kept me from focusing properly. After all, how could one of my favorite writing professors publish a book that didn’t interest me?
@siva.is.a.diva After some proper bed rest, I picked up the book again and once more attempted to read it. I loved reading vampire books as a teenager and early in my twenties. Why wasn’t I loving this now?
I tried for 40 pages before I officially gave up. A part of me felt bad because the author was a teacher I’d admired during my time in college. She was the first professor who encouraged genre writing in an academic setting.
It’s taken a few years, but once I started getting older and having more responsibilities, I stopped feeling guilty about adding a book to the ‘did not finish’ (DNF) pile. There are simply too many books and too little time to read them all.
@mireia_arpa This one felt particularly cruel though. What went wrong? Was it me? Was it the author’s writing? Was it simply my sick-addled brain?
The truth is, it doesn’t matter the reason for why the book didn’t work for me. It’s as simple as that: it didn’t work.
Perhaps I would’ve enjoyed it more when I was younger and still interested in angsty vampires. Maybe the writer’s prose wasn’t my cup of tea. Maybe I really was too sick to appreciate the writing.
Whatever the reason may be, it’s okay to leave a book unread. Even if that book was written by a former professor or friend or family member.
@mybookfeatures It’s great if you want to support a loved one or colleague who endeavors to write and publish a book. It’s also okay if that author’s writing doesn’t resonate with you. You may not be the intended audience.
That doesn’t mean you can’t still support their writing aspirations. You can help in other ways, like spreading the word on social media or recommending the book to other readers.
@lapaulape I may not be interested in vampire stories anymore, but I certainly know younger readers who are better suited to such stories. I can simply pass the book along and say, “Hey, I knew the writer of this book in college. You might like this.”
Giving up on a book doesn’t mean giving up on a writer.
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