Feed me all night long...
No one mourns the wicked...

Because I'm bad, I'm bad, you know it...

When a TV show sucks, you change the channel, right? Technically, you're not really paying for that particular show directly (you pay for television as an overall service), so you feel no real commitment factor whatsoever.

But what do you do when you have paid directly for some sort of entertainment and are let down immediately?

If you forked over the cash to see a movie, do you walk out if it sucks?

If you paid to go to a sporting event and your team of choice is playing terribly, do you curse them and leave?

If you purchased a book at a store and start to read it only to discover how truly absurd it is, do you stop reading?

This last bit is a quandary I'm suffering through right now. I bought a book the other day simply because the review sounded so ridiculous that it might actually be kinda funny.

Yeah, it's not. I'm about 50 pages in (of 350, give or take) and it's painful. On the one hand, I feel I should continue because I paid for it and because it might be nice to have more than just positive reviews on FWDT. On the other hand, I just don't think I can abuse myself that badly.

It is truly a painful reading experience. One where I groan and roll my eyes with each forced attempt at humor. One where I can predict just what ridiculous situation will occur next and then pray I'm wrong, only to discover I'm right.

Do I suffer through for the sake of my book review site and my wallet? Or do I just drop it and run away screaming?

help.

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

jenny

I find it highly liberating to give myself permission to stop reading books that are boring or just plain suck. This leaves me with a lot of half-read novels, but much more free time... :)

Allison

I never used to give up on a book until I was done. This meant I read some really crappy books, but it also meant I got some surprises from books that got better as I read them.
Now, more and more frequently, I find that I just can't make myself finish bad books. I will now take half read books back to the library instead of suffering through something dreadful.
I say give yourself permission to put down a bad book. Life is too short to waste it on something truly horrible.

suze

Sometimes not reading a bad book (or continuing to watch a bad movie, or whatever) is worth so much more than the actual monetary cost you spent.

Dagny

I'd stop reading it.

ms. sizzle

i stop reading books or turn off movies all the time. do it! and while you are at it? go sell the book to a used book store or on half.com and get a bit of your $$ back. that will make it feel less painful.

Tracy Lynn

Dude, I'd not only stop reading it, I'd return it. And have done so, I might add.

SJ

I like the idea of some negative reviews on FWDT, but who wants to read a crappy book? I did it when I was *getting paid* for the reviews, but for free? No effing way.

But can you tell us what this heinous book is?

Rick

What I pay for a book is a pittance compared to the value of the time it takes to read it. I don't think I'd even waste the minutes it takes to return it (unless I was going back anyway).

Hilly

The question to ask yourself is, do you see this book getting any better say at page 100? If not, then throw it out, just like you would had you inadvertently bought a bad bunch of grapes ;). Your time is way more precious than the book; hey, you can always re-gift it for the holidays, bwahahaha!

Elaine

Run, run quickly. I would even suggest you shut your eyes while running to remov the image from your brain but that might get a little messy.

sandra

For some reason, I can't not finish a book when I start. It's bizarre.

BA

Uh...what book? The least you can do is warn me... ;)

Jacquie

don't do it. Life's too short.

kapgar

jenny, I'm watching my collection slowly build back up. Some I still intend to finish but just ran out of time. Others... well...

Allison, I agree. Life is too short. Gimme the good stuff.

Suze, watching a bad movie feels like less of a loss, though, because it's only a couple hours. Reading a book can take far longer and feel like more of a waste.

Dagny, I'm thinking.

Sizzle, Amazon resellers, here I come.

Tracy, I've returned books, too. I don't know that I can use "it sucks" as a reason. May have to come up with something a bit better.

SJ and BA, I'm ashamed to admit... The Shroud of the Thwacker by Chris Elliott. Yes, that Chris Elliott.

Rick, luckily it's right up the street from where I work.

Hilly, honestly, I don't. Re-gift, eh? What's your address again?

Elaine, I'm clumsy enough with my eyes open.

Sandra, typically I'm the same way. I'll eventually finish any book I start. But this one is that bad.

Jacquie, I agree.

suze

I think you misunderstood. What I was trying to say is that it's worth more to give up on it based on time saved, etc, than to continue reading/watching it just because you paid for it.

Erin

Chris Elliott? Cabin Boy? Tell me I'm wrong, please, tell me I'm wrong. He can write? And I don't mean "He's good at telling a story with words?" I mean "He can hold a pencil and make marks that resemble letters or hit buttons on a keyboard that eventually come together in vague word-type patterns?" Color me shocked.

Life's too short for bad books, yo. Sell that stinker!

BA

Chris Elliot? Sorry, I make a policy of not extending sympathy to masochists...

diane

I have to agree with Tracy. While it's always a moral dilemma to me to return a book, I think, well, if a pair of shoes didn't quite fit right when I got them home, or a product broke soon after purchase, or I just wasn't satisfied, I would take it back. Why should books be any different?
Reading a lot of books and returning them when you are done is evil. Finding one book is a piece of crap and returning it is not. And if you have to, use the old, "I bought it as a gift and that person is no longer in my life." It makes the cashier too uncomfortable to ask any further questions :)

francesdanger

Ewww...I think you should have to finish it as punishment for buying it in the first place. ;-)

Actually, STOP NOW. Life's too short. And if you can't bring yourself to return it I vote Half.com or saving it for some white elephant gift exchange I'm sure you'll end up at this holiday season.

kapgar

Suze, I think my reply was meant for a different comment. My bad. Sorry.

Erin, one and the same.

BA, sorry. I really thought, how bad can it be? I found out.

diane, nice idea! Me likey.

francesdanger, yeah, I don't know what I was thinking on that one. Maybe I thought his writing couldn't possibly be as bad as his acting. Yeah, right. White elephant is a good idea.

The comments to this entry are closed.