It has been four years since I failed to finish a book I started reading. That is a long time. It is a particularly long time for someone like me. I used to cast aside books as if they were nothing if I were reading one I didn’t like. I even bragged to professors in college that I didn’t read anything I didn’t like. I was more than ready, willing, and able to BS any test or essay thrown my way.
The last book I didn’t finish was Altered Carbon. I picked it up because of the Netflix show by the same name. Reading the book after watching the show was a big mistake. The show was entertaining and well down. The book read like it was written by a 13 year old. Or at least that was my feeling of one particular sex scene in the book. That is what made me completely lose interest. It was a very long sex scene with lots of licking and stuff. Way too descriptive and instead of skipping it and moving on I read through it, thought what did I just read, that feels like it was written by someone that never had sex and thinks it is hanging upside down sticking tongues in every hole, I can’t continue with this.
That was the last book I didn’t finish and why. The TV show felt like it matured up with book and edited out the unnecessary parts. It improved on it in every possible way, and in this instance the show was much better than the book.
Four years is a long streak for me. I have finished every book I have picked up in that time. There have been a few close calls but I have made it through those. Something has happened in them that have sparked my interest or at least nothing has happened in them that has caused me to completely lose interest.
When I think about why that is I believe it is because how I choose books changed. It changed thanks to a Netflix series produced in England called Safe based on a Harlan Coben novel. I picked up a different novel by him, read it, and enjoyed it so much I wanted others. Then I decided to read Michael Connelly since he had a promotional quote on the back of one of the Coben novels I was reading. What happened then is I picked up a couple books mentioned in the introduction to the first Harry Bosch novel.
That was it. I locked in on a couple series and then choose novels that were either mentioned in the books I was reading or by authors that gave promotional quotes. A lot of these happened to be series and that helped in finishing novels a lot. Not only where the books by authors I liked but they featured characters I liked.
It used to be if you were reading a series you’d have to rely on whatever the bookstore had in stock. Let’s say you were on book four but the bookstore only had book six and fifteen what were you to do? Back in those days you could order in the book at the help desk, get one of the later books, or leave the store without a book from that series. That was then. Now thanks to the partnership between Amazon and Goodreads I know what book I am on and have a place that always has the next in the series.
That’s what the difference is. A few times I have strayed from the path of my comfort zone (which for reading is quite large) but largely I have stayed close to safe harbor. I have read series I know I like and when I try out new to me authors they are ones with books mentioned in a book I am reading or have given promotional quotes on a book I have read.
I am certain I will not finish another book in my life, but it has been four years and I am not looking to end that streak anytime soon.