Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Respecting books

There's a good question in today's Telegraph.:

Do you ever start talking to an incredibly boring person at a party and say to yourself, after five minutes: "Well, he's incredibly boring, but I'll talk to him for another 30 hours. He's bound to get better." Or, when you've finished with a newspaper you've enjoyed, do you ever put it on a shelf on prominent display so that you can admire it from a distance and never read it again?

No? Well, why do so many people do the same with books?

Beats me. As I've said before, one of the reasons I'm not a good book reviewer or contest judge is that I simply can't finish a book I'm not enjoying. But I never dreamed that would be a problem yesterday, when I finally got my hands on The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes, which I believed would be an adorable story because it was co-written by Jennifer Crusie, a favorite of mine.

I didn't make it to Chapter Two before I started skipping and skimming pages. The story just bugged me. It's not like I have anything against magic in romance novels, because I dearly loved Laura Kinsale's Uncertain Magic. But if you've ever watched the TV show "Charmed," you have already seen everything in Jenny's latest book. Seriously. The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes are three twentysomething sisters who live together and must join their magical powers (each has a different power--sound familiar?) to defeat their wicked witch of an aunt while simultaneously discovering their true loves.

Please. I've never read the book's other two authors, Eileen Dreyer and Anne Stuart, but I would hope they're better than this. I know Jenny is.

As to the other part of the question in the Telegraph article, I don't keep books unless I mean to read them again. Bad books, I throw away.

Right now The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes is in my kitchen trash can underneath a pile of used tea leaves. Sorry, Jenny.


Marianne Arkins said...

Though I don't disagree with you on this book -- I'm still struggling through it and skimming as I go which is very disappointing for a Jenny Crusie freak like I am! BUT, I never throw books away. Certainly there are folks out there who WOULD enjoy the book.... so it gets donated to Friends of the Library so it can find a new home.

Anonymous said...

I have thrown a few books away that I find to be very trashy or offensive. The books that I found to be fluff or whatever, I donate and hope that someone else finds some worth in it.

I have a hard time throwing away something I find to be of great pleasure (books in general) but there are those few that I simply can not find redeeming. I must admit that I have to throw them quick, cover them with something yucky so that I won't pull it back out. It is amazing how we get so involved with bound paper and words.