The Story My Abandoned E-Books Tell

Confession 1: Sometimes I abandon a book and go back to it later.

Why? Well, it might be that I’m not in the mood for a book of that particular tone or theme. Perhaps it requires concentration or patience that I don’t have at the time. Maybe it asks questions I don’t want to answer just then, or gives answers I’m not ready for.

I might be looking to be entertained and uplifted, while the book wants to pick apart my life and give me a microscope with which to study the pieces.

Confession 2: On rare occasions, I abandon a book permanently because something makes me cringe to the extent that I can’t carry on with it.
These abandonment issues can affect all books I buy, not just ebooks, but ebooks are a little different. I have to be in the mood for reading on my Kindle – and sometimes I’m simply not. Despite its handy blue light filter that makes the experience easier on the eyes and melatonin levels, I still get just plain sick of staring at screens sometimes, or aware that I’ve spent too long doing so already. This means books languish for longer on my Kindle than on my paperback TBR pile.

And there are more of them because ebooks are cheaper to buy, meaning I take more chances. Ebooks give me the chance to try out authors who are new to me, putting (usually) more money in those authors’ pockets than a PLR payment would  – without committing me to a £6-£10 spend on a paperback I’m not already besotted with. Perhaps this makes them more likely abandonment candidates.

You might surmise that because they’re cheaper to buy, ebooks are easier to abandon aanyway I’m not sure this is true for me, though. I’m not keen on abandoning any book. It seems such a waste!

So what made me abandon the books currently started on my Kindle but not finished?

Book A: My first purchase of a book from a well-respected author who gives and writes writing advice (in fact, I bought more than one on a special deal).

Problem: In the very first scene in the very first book, there was head-hopping. We’re in the heroine’s head, she meets a guy, she walks away and suddenly we’re in the guy’s head. Aaaargh!

Will I go back to it? I’ll probably give it another go when I’m at a loose end, bookwise. So many people I know praise this author’s work; can they all be wrong? But boy, do I hate head-hopping – and it was a big disappointment coming from someone who advises others on writing! And it made me think – where was the editor? Napping?!

Book B: My second purchase from this author. I’d enjoyed their first book well enough, although there were a couple of points where my editor’s fingers twitched. I thought I’d give this far earlier work, from a different genre, I try.

Problem: Too much of everything too quickly. Too many characters introduced at once, many of whom seemed too similar to quickly establish a unique place in your head. Too much hard to follow dialogue, too much backstory delivered in awkward dollops. I also didn’t warm to the main characters and struggled to find them realistic.

Will I go back to it? No. I might be missing out and I’ll certainly be trying another book by this author, but as for this one, my gut feeling is that life’s too short, and good books too numerous, to bother.

In the meantime, I had a bit of a Kindle splurge back in November when my husband’s op was due and another one post-Christmas when there were many bargains to be had. This is the result: the top two rows on my Kindle, as shown here. None abandoned so far!

I’ve already read the excellent Nightbird (Alice Hoffman) and The Secrets Between Sisters (Annie Lyons), which I’ll try and review very soon. I’m looking forward to reading the rest. They either won me over with their blurb, attracted my attention in an article or are by authors whose books I’ve read and enjoyed before (Alex Walters and Jane Holland). Roll on half-term!

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