Why One Book And Not Another?

Recently I had finished both books I’d been reading (one ebook, one physical book) and was ready to start two more. I chose books I’d been wanting to read, ones with appealing covers and interesting plots. Ones either recommended highly by others or by an author I’d read before and enjoyed. But one chapter in, then two, and I couldn’t keep my attention from wandering. In frustration, I opened a third book. Before I knew it, I was 50 pages in.

Why does that happen with one book and not another? It’s a question I never really thought seriously about until I was published myself. Since then, in wondering what makes people love or hate my books, I’ve paid more attention in my own reading. Once I would have said that the books that didn’t grab and hold my attention weren’t well-written. I’ve since changed my mind. You see, I’ve discovered that sometimes even a well-written book–even one many other people have loved–just doesn’t connect with me. Or with meย at that moment in time. Sometimes I simply can’t connect with a loved author’s subject matter or writing style. And yet sometimesย a book I’ve abandoned will become a book I devour a few weeks or months or even years later. The book didn’t change. I did.

Why One Book and Not Another?

Understanding this individual experience of a story takes the pressure off of me as a reader, reminding me that I don’t have to like every book that comes my way–even the well-written ones. And it takes the pressure off of me as a writer, knowing that every book I write isn’t meant for every reader. I’m very grateful for both those perspectives as I decide what books are worth my investment of time, both to read and to write.

Do you know what causes you to embrace or abandon one story over another? I’d love to hear!

10 comments on “Why One Book And Not Another?

    • Thank you, Siri! Of course I’m having no trouble getting into Love Comes Calling. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  1. Ha! I see what you mean, Anne – we have asked the same question about books on our blogs today ๐Ÿ™‚ I agree with you that it isn’t always about quality – it can be genre, style, state of mind, and characters that you don’t connect with but others do (just like in life!).

    I’m going with the great minds think alike theory here ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I’d be happy to have my mind in the same category as yours, Rel–even just for a day or so on our blogs! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. You make such a good point in this post. I’ve definitely had that same thing happen with books…others have recommended it and I’ve tried and it just didn’t do it for me…and I think you’re right, it’s not always that it’s just “bad writing.” It’s just not the book for me at the moment…And I can think of specific books that I gave another chance years later and loved the second time around.

    • It’s amazing how that “second time around” thing happens sometimes, isn’t it? You know the book is exactly the same as it was, and yet somehow it’s different. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. That makes so much sense! Thanks for sharing. Some books I just can’t get into, but then others I connect right away and can’t stop reading. Thanks for making me understand why! I have entered Speedbo for the first time this year to finish a book I had started. This is great advice and just in time. Thanks!

    • Lol! Not sure I’ve offered any insight into why this happens, but I’m glad it helped as you sit down to write. It’s hard to remember once others read what you’ve written, but if you remember your own reading tastes it sometimes helps to understand others. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I am so glad you said that today, I needed to hear that as a reader and as a striving to write a book for speedbo new author… I guess I have to keep in my head that ” you can’t please everyone ” And that makes it easier to write.

    • Yes, that is so very important to keep in mind as you write–and to remember after you’ve written! It’s so hard to think what you write doesn’t connect with someone, but very few books connect with everyone.

      Happy writing! (And reading!)

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