Booking Through Thursday – Worse?

04May09

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Which is worse:
Finding a book you love and then hating everything else you try by that author, or 
Reading a completely disappointing book by an author that you love? 

I really like the question. It’s a tough one, for, in an ideal world, we’d be able to have our cake and eat it too. However, as the only thing ideal around here are the thoughts in my head, I’d have to go with “reading a completely disappointing book by an author you love“. I’m waiting for the applause from the audience, and my grand prize now… 

Let me take a second to explain the why. As in, why I think that’s worse.

When a new book is released by any of my favorite authors, I get really excited, and hype it up to be this big thing. I can’t wait to run to the store, purchase the book, and then immerse myself in the book completely. And that’s mostly because I expect it to be good. How many books by an author would you read, before you’d shortlist the author as one of your favorites? Five, maybe six? If all the books you’ve read prior to elevating the author to this god-like state have been unputdownable, it’s really frustrating when you come across a bad book. But… you know what’s even worse? A spate of bad books. 

I was a massive Grisham fan. I’ve read practically everything by him. Then, he came out with the autobiographical A Painted House. Just because it was a Grisham book, I actually read it, hoping it would come good. It didn’t. That was then followed up with Skipping Christmas, Playing For Pizza, and Bleachers. That was the end of my Grisham love affair. I know he’s published a new legal thriller recently, but… I just can’t bring myself to read it. Disappointment with books really get me down.

On the other hand, if you’ve read one book by an author, and you’ve loved it, you’re tempted to try another for purely exploratory reasons. Does the second book live up to the expectations you had of it, based on the first book? Or, does it make you want to drop it like a hot potato? The thing is, even if the second book is not great, the reader doesn’t tend to feel that disappointed. I normally just think: So much potential

Of course, if the first book by the author has blown the reader away well and truly, it’s a dilemma. What if the first book you read was amazing? What if it was one of those that won the Booker or the Pulitzer or something? What if it was, in reality, the author’s best work. Are the readers bound to be disappointed then, by reading the author’s most popular works first, and then not being that impressed with the next few works? Or, are they just supposed to take it in their stride?

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One Response to “Booking Through Thursday – Worse?”

  1. 1 Novroz

    we have the same answer with a bit of different. I haven’t given up on the author I love the most.


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