Saturday, October 8, 2011


You know when you go to the library or a bookstore, and the shelves are loaded with promise? The books sit there, all shiny and full of potential enjoyment. Selecting just one or three or four feels impossible. Then you start sliding them off the shelf, flipping through the pages, reading the cover copy. Pretty quickly it's easy to dismiss that one as not for me, this other one as being too like something else I read recently. I usually end up with a stack to sort through more carefully, re-reading the blurbs, hoping that I'll end up with books I can dive into and not come up for air until the end.

That's the dream.

So often I wind up starting a book with all kinds of anticipation. It sounds exactly the kind of story that I love, I can't wait to start reading.

Then after the first few pages I'm going 'hmmmm. Not so sure this is living up to the blurb.' 'Not sure I like the writing.' 'The characters are really shallow and uninteresting'.

It's heartbreaking. Especially when the idea behind the book is so promising. It feels like a waste that this book got published when some other writer could have used the premise and made it the book I wanted to read. When I could have written the story in a way that would have done the story justice.

I'm reading one of these books now. I loved the cover copy, but the book is badly written. The language is stilted and the whole thing lacks the emotional impact the story demands. I'm not finished yet, so I have a little spark of hope. Maybe it will get better. But I'm not convinced of that....

Are you ever disappointed by books you choose? Do you ever feel like you could write the story better?


  1. That is so hard. I hate it when something looks so wondering and I just can't get through it. Or it's a struggle to get through.

  2. It happened to me too, recently. The plot idea was awesome, but the way the writer explored it was really disappointing. Sad. And I know many awesome unpublished writers who can't find an agent and get published, no matter how hard they try. It doesn't seem fair.

  3. Oh man, do I know the feeling! That drives me NUTS, when I read a book where I just love the premise or the idea, but I see all these other places it could've been taken that the author didn't even touch on, or there are plotholes I could fix easily and its just like man why couldn't I have thought of this first?

  4. I hate it when that happens. Especially when the blurb leads to believe the book is something that its not. OR when it's just badly written. That is so frustrating. :( Just put it down and pick up the next one.

  5. I wish I could put them down, but I always keep reading, just in case it gets better....

  6. I hate it when this happens, feels like such a waste of time, and it has to be really terrible/not my thing for me to put it down. I think I've only ever stopped reading two.
    I think as writers you see things a lot differently, and ask more questions sometimes.

  7. And in case any of you were wondering, I finished this particular book this morning. It didn't get better. So many missed opportunities.