There are 5 stages to losing interest in a book:
1. Awareness – You are busy reading when you become aware of a little voice in your mind telling you that the book you are reading is not ‘doing things for you’.
Something is wrong. Your mind is not full of shooting stars and you are certainly not trembling with literary excitement.
You are going through the reading motions but in your head you are wondering whether you should put a washing machine cycle on or what recipe to use with that chicken in the fridge.
You flick back to the front cover and then to the book blurb on the back, to reassure yourself about the reading choice you made in the bookshop or on Amazon. Yes the cover still looks artistic / classy and the book blurb still makes your heart race.
Must be a good book. Maybe its you?
2. Denial – You start to question your state of mind and your general health as it can’t be the book. You have been feeling a little ‘off’ lately and you do feel a bit tired.
You flick back to the page about the author to reassure yourself again about the reading choice you made. Yes they are on top of their literary game. Their book should be taking you to new heights of literary enjoyment.
3. Realisation – You plough on as everything points to you having a bad day and not the quality of the book.
After a couple of pages you find yourself reaching for Twitter or Netflix – a.k.a. the kiss of death for the book!
A few days later you pick the book back up, telling yourself that it’s a new day and everything deserves a second chance.
You start to read and once again your mind becomes preoccupied with housekeeping trivia like the number of loo rolls left in the toilet.
As you sigh loudly and try to refocus your mind the voice inside you starts again.
“The plot doesn’t work!”
“That character is really dull”.
“Am I only on pg.19……my goodness only 246 pages to go” (groan)
The realisation that you are losing interest with the book starts to take hold of you.
4. Frustration – You start to get frustrated. You paid £7.99 for this book. You could have spent that money on something else, something more meaningful like some new pink lipstick or some cheap wine?
How dare the author lead you up the literary garden path with an artistic cover and an eye watering book blurb? As a writer you would never do such a thing.
5. Acceptance – As the frustration subsides you start to accept the fact that after three chapters you have had quite enough. You have lost interest. The author is forgiven in your head. They must have had a bad editing experience you tell yourself, it can happen.
The book is placed on your shelf. It will be brought back out when someone comes round, who you secretly don’t like, to ask you whether you have read anything good lately.
Off you trot back to the bookshop or to Amazon to see whether any new book covers catch your eye.