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A Reading Dilemma

I need your help with a new-to-me reading dilemma. If you’re up to the task, ponder the following scenario:

So, after learning that you’re a book blogger, a co-worker shares her “favorite book ever” with you. It’s a pretty hot book, so you accept her copy and actually read it. The longer your read it, the more irritated you become. Finally, in a fit of rage over the misuse of R.E.M. lyrics, you perpetrate violence against the book to such an extent that you’re forced to go to Barnes & Noble and enrich this pretentious author even more by purchasing a replacement copy. While you readily admit that you are psychically responsible for mangling that book, you can’t help but be bitter that the book existed in the first place. You are less willing to admit that you typically make an exception to your otherwise all encompassing “Read and Let Read” policy for those who gush over this book and the subsequent movie. You should probably seek therapy, but you won’t. The rage – when it is stirred up – feels too good.

Several years later this author publishes a new book in another genre. The very thought of the months of promotional Facebook posts, tweets, and email pitches makes you gag. As with Sarah Palin, you’ve taken the step of muting the author’s name so that you can at least avoid some of the tweets. You survived the new book’s publication date and even had the opportunity to vent your feelings with a couple of other bloggers. You’ve all but moved on when some audiobooks arrive on your doorstep. The audiobook version for this new book is included. As soon as you recognize the cover you put it in the donate pile without any unnecessary melodrama. You pat yourself on the back for not feeling the urge to douse your hands in vanilla hand sanitizer after touching it. You’re making progress. Then, when you grab the box of donations to bring to your local library, that same audiobook falls out and on to your car’s floorboard. When you first opened the package from the publisher, the audiobook was cover up and you didn’t bother to look at it closely. This time it fell cover down. As you picked it up you saw the picture of one of the most fabulous audiobook narrators in all the world. Your eyes keep bouncing back and forth between the offending author’s picture and the beloved narrator’s picture. You’re surprisingly torn.

24 Comments

  • At 2013.11.07 05:15, Sandy said:

    I tend to be righteous about these things…even if Simon narrates.

  • At 2013.11.07 06:02, Jenn Lawrence said:

    Ok, that was more difficult than I thought it was going to be. So, I say give it a listen. But the moment it starts to irritate you, stop. Second chances and all that. I think my opinion would probably be different if you were purchasing the audio book. too. Also, you need to tell me the name of the author in question. This may taint my response (and my lack of coffee thus far this morning).

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    • At 2013.11.07 08:52, Literate Housewife said:

      That is the reasonable approach. The funny thing is that I never bothered to look up this book on Audible because there was no way on God’s green earth I would ever want to read it. LOL! The name of the author in question is Elizabeth Gilbert. There, I said it.

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    • At 2013.11.07 07:43, Trista said:

      Perhaps the author’s misuse of R.E.M. lyrics is overly influencing your negative response? Maybe if this book excludes any mention of R.E.M., you will find it more palatable. Just a thought. 😉 #literatehousewifemightbealittleobsessed

      • At 2013.11.07 08:54, Literate Housewife said:

        I have no patience or sympathy for anyone who messes around with R.E.M., it’s true. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back, but the book was awful even before that moment. I AM NOT OBSESSED, though. I am a normal human being who happens to broil over with rage for this particular author… LOL!

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      • At 2013.11.07 08:16, Julie S. said:

        This post cracked me up. But really, I would at least give it a listen, can always DNF. Maybe this second book is a lot better. Maybe the author learned her lesson? lol

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        • At 2013.11.07 08:54, Literate Housewife said:

          Giving it a listen since the narrator peaked my interest really is the reasonable approach. It may help me heal from that first experience. 🙂

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        • At 2013.11.07 08:30, Care said:

          I say skip it. Too many books in the world. If it’s a fave narrator, you can always go back at a later date (a few years? decades?). Good luck. And I so want to see the results!

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          • At 2013.11.07 08:56, Literate Housewife said:

            As much as I can see giving it a shot and DNFing it if it’s bad, I also feel the same way you do. This narrator has worked on numerous other audiobooks. It’s not as if I’m at a loss for other Juliet Stevenson audiobook listening experiences.

            I’ll definitely post the results and my final decision next week.

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          • At 2013.11.07 09:00, Anita said:

            I said give it a listen!! Easy to stop and move on. Your intro cracked me up.

            • At 2013.11.07 09:46, Felicia S (The Geeky Blogger) said:

              PS I read the other book in the other genre (DNF’d it) and yes I felt the same way about the first book you mentioned. I am only guessing but I am guessing we are talking about the same author LOL

              • At 2013.11.07 09:52, dog eared copy/Tanya said:

                Take the sip test! LIsten to the fist chapter, the first 20 minutes, the first CD or whatever and then decide whether or not you want to continue!

                • At 2013.11.07 11:02, bermudaonion (Kathy) said:

                  I say ditch it – even the best narrator can’t save an awful book. I’m dying to know the author, though!!

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                  • At 2013.11.07 11:38, Teresa said:

                    Given that you had such a visceral experience with the first one and there isn’t a shortage of other options for the beloved narrator, I would definitely skip it. Time is too precious.

                    • At 2013.11.07 11:56, Diana said:

                      I say skip it. Favorite narrator aside, you are starting this book w/negative feelings. You’re mind isn’t open to the book’s goodness; you will always be listening and waiting for those bad feelings you had with the author’s work. Ask yourself: Will you be able to honestly review THIS piece of work or will you be judging it (and rating it badly) because of a previous experience?

                      • At 2013.11.07 12:11, Ann said:

                        Hi. I say throw it in the garbage if it makes you feel that strongly. I saw the movie, Eat, Pray, Love and thought it was BS. Actually, I feel the same way about Julia Roberts as you do about Gilbert, ha! I’d love to know, though, what it is about this author that you despise. Enquiring minds need to know! I have never read her book and would love to know your thoughts. Forewarned is forearmed?

                        • At 2013.11.07 13:13, Amy @ My Friend Amy said:

                          Skip it! Surely there’s a less offending book out there with the same narrator you haven’t listened to??

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                          • At 2013.11.07 13:48, Serena said:

                            Wow, that’s a tough one. I don’t have a love for audio books that some other bloggers have….but this would be a very harsh reality to face…I did provide some input.

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                            • At 2013.11.07 17:15, Julie Merilatt said:

                              Hah, I would research other reviews first. I had a dilemma a few weeks ago:
                              http://julzreads.wordpress.com/2013/09/25/a-readers-dilemma/

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                              • At 2013.11.08 00:32, heidenkind said:

                                READ IT (or listen to it… you know what I mean). If you hate it, you can write a review with a mash-up of mangled REM lyrics that reflect your inner rage! If you love it… wellllll that’s not likely, is it?

                                • At 2013.11.09 20:31, JoAnn @ Lakeside Musing said:

                                  We share the same dilemma….

                                  • At 2013.11.13 08:01, Alison's Book Marks said:

                                    I say listen on the sly – worst case? It’s your CDs to destroy as you wish, with no need to buy replacements. It might be a therapeutic exercise for all the hours we have spent reading/listening to bad writing without warning.

                                    And, yes, REM is sacred.

                                    • At 2013.11.18 00:11, Rachel said:

                                      I don’t know buy I am DYING to know what the book is! LOL

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