I have been a bookworm for, more or less, 15 years now which, needless to say, is half my life.
now, now.. don’t go guessing on my age. I won’t hear any of it.
But yes, I was not a born-reader. It came when I was in college and it developed from there. I had no encouragement, it was completely me and to be honest, it also surprised me one time to be looking at 3 humongous box loads of books that needed disposing as the hubby was not finding the whole affair cute anymore. I have had books hidden under the bed, at the back of the laundry room, up the top of the cabinet perfectly disguising as “bags” – anything to keep them safe from my hubby’s angry eyes.
Anyway, with all these experiences, I only have one rule to live by. That is, you MUST finish what you have started, no matter what. So no matter how bad a book can get, I finish it even if it dragged me to hell. This is also the reason why I steer clear of some types of books as I don’t want to be breaking “the rule”.
I skipped, hopped, skimmed, browsed, fast-read, whatever when such unfortunate chance came upon me so I somehow developed my own what-to-avoid guidelines for books and here it is:
YA. or young adult. Notice that YAs are the “in” thing nowadays. Good that YAs, in some way, encourage younger readers but if you’re a thirty-something like me who reads books until she’s blue, you’ll find it hard to relate or even understand a YA’s storyline. I just don’t get it. However, don’t get me wrong, there are a couple of YAs that I was able to really enjoy like Tabitha Suzuma’s Forbidden and Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games. If only those new authors will follow suit then all’s well and happy.
Books that are 500+ pages long. This goes for authors who, I think, are aiming for The Guinness Book of World Records’ Thickest Book Ever Written rather than trying for a Nobel prize, unless you are Stephen King whose imagination runs wild – think The Dome, never attempt this kind of feat as most likely you’ll never get your second book published! It is really painful to be reading such book and I guess it was as painful for the author to write too so please try not to overdo it. You can try series, we are okay with that, but squeezing 3-books worth of writings in a book? Oh come on.
Autobiographies. I am okay with biographies. It’s just that autobiographies tend to be one sided and most of the time self-promoting. I just hate that. Get some help and let a professional writer write about your life, that way we, readers, will be able to enjoy your book more. We are making you money, you could have at least give us a good read.