Wednesday, August 13, 2008

To read or not to read....

We all have "rules" as to how far we will go in a book before we give it up as a lost cause. I thought you might enjoy know my rule. I loved the book The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. Naturally I then devoured the Postscript to the Name of the Rose which is Eco's musings on how and why he wrote the book. In this essay, Eco explains that while the first 100 pages of The Name of the Rose are quite dense and detailed - the rest of the book is your reward. This has always stuck with me and I now read the first 100 pages of any book to see if the rest of the book is my REWARD!

What do others think? There have been some thoughts on this matter posted on the Library's Readers in the Mist blog that you might like to compare:

1 comment:

vicki said...

This is from my friend Tmne who has read my blog and wanted to add a comment to this discussion:

"I think 100 pages is a lot of an author to ask of a reader without any reward. I do like to be gripped by the first chapter or so. My indication is that if I have fallen asleep on the same page more than three times the book is just not for me at this point of time in my life. I belong to a book club and luckily we all know each other's tastes. Sometimes when I have given up on a book, like Life of Pi or Time Travellers Wife, a fellow book clubber will urge me to continue and I have been so thankful for it later on. A really helpful friend put a bookmark in the Life of Pi and said to me "if you don't like it by this point" then don't bother reading any more. She knew me well. I persevered until that point and then I just couldn't put it down! It was brilliant!"