To the Bitter End

To read or not to read? Normally, I’d say this is a ridiculous question. But what if your new favorite series has lost its spark? The first book or two in the series were fantastic! Then, something happened. The magic is gone. Should you give up and read something else? Or do you press on, and follow your fictional friends to whatever destiny awaits them (and you)? I have found myself pondering this countless times. As a fan of series (the more books the merrier), it’s the much-dreaded, yet inevitable scenario. You and your series just aren’t right for each other anymore.

So what now? On the one hand, if you toss the book across the room in frustration, storm to your shelf (or your local bookstore), and pick a new book, you just might find your next favorite. Think of the hours you could waste struggling through a book you don’t even enjoy, when you could be discovering a new series, author, mythical land, etc. (the possibilities are endless).

On the other hand, you could carry on to the bitter end, and find out what happens. Does the guy get his dream girl (or vice versa)? Do they have a happy ending? Slay the dragon? Save the planet? What if the book will get better in another chapter or two? Unless you hang in there, you will never find out!

As someone who has taken both paths at different times, I know that the answer is simply that there is no right answer. Do what makes you happy. After all, this is pleasure reading, not studying for exams. If you don’t love the book, put it down. If you just couldn’t live without knowing what happens, then by all means, finish the book. Just remember, there is no rule saying you can never try again later…

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