When do you decide to stop reading a book? Three book enthusiasts weigh in
We've all done it: paid $35 for a book, or gone on a long waiting list at the library and, full of hope, sat down to read — only to find ourselves knee-deep in disappointment.
The writer's style might be more annoying with each page. Or we might feel like throwing the book across the room.
Or, if the book is laughably bad, we might hope for the chance to mimic Groucho Marx who once told a writer, "From the moment I picked up your book until I put it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Someday I intend to read it."
So, what to do? Abandon the book...or persevere?
We decided to consult three avid readers about these urgent life questions.
- Elizabeth Renzetti is a columnist with the Globe and Mail, and author of the novel, Based on a True Story and the forthcoming book of essays, Shrewed. For years, she was the books editor at the Globe.
- Kerry Clare is the editor of the Canadian books website 49thShelf.com. She has been writing about books for more than a decade. You can see her work in many magazines and on her own blog Pickle Me This. And she's the author of the new novel, Mitzi Bytes.
- Nicole Blades is a Canadian novelist, public speaker, and journalist. She's the author of The Thunder Beneath Us, Earth's Waters and, most recently, Have You Met Nora?
Click 'listen' above to hear the discussion.
- Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
- The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
- White Teeth by Zadie Smith
- Middlemarch by George Eliot
- Guns Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond
- Walk It Off, The True and Hilarious Story of How I Learned to Stand, Walk, Pee, Run, and Have Sex Again After a Nightmarish Diagnosis Turned My Awesome Life Upside Down by Ruth Marshall
- The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
- Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
- Moby Dick by Herman Melville
- Ulysses by James Joyce
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
- The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
- Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
- The Godfather by Mario Puzo
- Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
- Slouching toward Bethlehem by Joan Didion
- A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
- The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
- Kindred by Octavia Butler
- Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
- War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy