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When Bad Books Happen to Good Readers
Has this ever happened to you?
You get recommended a book. It sounds like something you would like.
It’s not a trashy book. It’s something that’s sincere in its artistic aspirations.
It got good reviews. Quotes from the good reviews are all over the cover.
You read it. Maybe you get two pages in. Maybe ten. Maybe one hundred.
And you realize you hate it.
You hate everything about it.
You hate the prose, the characters, the style.
You don’t want to hurl it across the room because only really good books should be hurled across the room.
Maybe the close reading becomes skimming.
Maybe the book gets put aside.
Maybe you decide to read it all the way to the end which turns out to be just as mediocre as the rest of the book.
Maybe you hate yourself for spending so much precious time on such literary ca-ca.
There’s always the next book. The next book could be great.
The next book turned out to be great, word by word, great with the kind of prose you want to roll around naked in.
But now I’m scared to recommend it because you might hate it.