It feels almost ironic that I should receive my first 1-star rating a day after I post about how I hope nobody will ever hate my books. Not only that, but that reader shelved Puppet Parade under “not-worth-finishing” on Goodreads. Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it!), the reader did not leave me a text review so I have no idea what warranted putting my book under that shelf.
How did I react? Well, to be honest I was upset at first. This was my first bad rating and I couldn’t readily accept it! I whined and protested about it for a good few minutes before I checked the reader’s profile and discovered that they had shelved 31 books as not-worth-finishing, and they had an average rating of 2.95. At that point I felt better. I got the impression that this was the sort of person who judged a book 30 or 50 pages in and associated them with grumpy cat. That’s my mental image and I’m sticking to it! But in all seriousness, why would someone do that? How can you tell what the book’s going to be like a few pages in?
I’ve been clear about my stance when it comes to finishing books. Even if I really hate it, I will continue reading to the end. Why do I subject myself to this… this torture, if you may? Well, because there is no way I can form a proper opinion of a book if I don’t read the whole thing. Is every book worth reading? Debatable. But is every book worth finishing? Yes, I firmly believe that. It hurts when a reader dislikes your book, but I feel it hurts even more if they never bothered reading to the end.
I guess I don’t understand how someone can decide if a book is worth it or not just a few chapters in. How do they know it won’t improve? How do they know the writer isn’t simply building up? Fantasy especially needs some room to be allowed to build up. Even if you don’t think you can finish the book, it’s only fair to give it the benefit of the doubt and read at least 100 pages or so before you decide that it’s not worth your time.
I’ve read books that started out boring but ended up pleasantly surprising me, and I’ve read books that started out bad and ended up bad. But hey, it’s the experience that counts. In the mean time I’m just going to ignore that bad rating and content myself with all the other good ratings I received. *nods*
What do you think? What makes a book not worth finishing? Do you tend to see books to the end, or do you cut your losses and stop a few chapters in?