Monday, August 11, 2008

Bonk? Boink? Who knows...

This week's installment of "The Finicky Reader" plays double duty. On the one hand I'm trying to figure out my own warped urge to finish books I don't like, and the subject of my did not finish (DNF) woes is Mary Roach's newest offering, Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex. Rest in peace, Bonk.

Read more at Bibliobuffet..."Do Not Resuscitate the DNF".


  1. Go for Snuff instead. :-)


  2. OY! I'm going through the same thing. I just started a book that I thought I was going to really enjoy and it's really just kind of boring. It reminds me of that one person that everyone knows that tells stories that have no real punch line/pay off. It's like little boring stories and I may have to dump it soon. Especially because I'm getting ready to travel and I can't take a book that makes me want to hurt someone ;O)

  3. I am the same way. For some reason I feel like I made a commitment or something and I have to honor it. However, there are some books that I started and really wanted to quit them but when I stuck with them I enjoyed them. So I guess that I feel that way with all books--if I just stick with them they will get better, or grow on me. But this is a good topic, why do we insist on finishing yucky books. I think for me--guilt. Since I have heard students complain about certain books...well, reading in general, and I always have to exhort them to read on...well, I kind of feel like a hypocrite if I do not read on--know what I mean?

  4. I know the feeling. My grandma had a thing where you take 100 minus your age and when you get to that number of pages you decide if you like the book enough to keep reading. So in other words... the older you are, the less of a chance you should give a book.

    I've had to give myself the ability to stop reading some books so that I can stay sane.

  5. I'm so going to read your column! I've been curious about this book.

  6. Another great installment Andi! I read Spook by Mary Roach and didn't like it. I think I'll have to try Stiff as I've heard so many good things about that one.
    And, I used to have a thing about finishing every book but not anymore. If I'm really not enjoying it, I put it back on the TBR shelf.

  7. Getting to the place in my head where I DO NOT HAVE TO FINISH every book I've started was one of the greatest discoveries of my life - seriously. I no longer feel any guilt about dumping a book that isn't working for me - who knows, in a few years, I might try it again and have a completely different experience. Or maybe, it just stinks, and I'll get rid of it. Either way, I'm reading for fun - if it's not fun, I might as well be cleaning my bathroom. =)

    p.s. I posted some thoughts about Breaking Dawn over at my blog - I had a bit of a mixed reaction...

  8. Ugh! Well I hate to hear that and am glad I didn't buy it too! That's surprising, since Stiff was so good. I still haven't read Spook. It's waiting patiently. Great column though, as always :)

  9. Amen, Lezlie! I can't BELIEVE my library doesn't have it! I thought about biting the bullet and buying it in hardcover, but I don't think I wanna. I thought of ILL'ing it, but I'm sure it's booked (pun intended) at the libraries that do own it, so I guess I'll sit tight and wait. Patience is NOT my virtue!

    Funky, do tell! Which book is it so I can avoid it? lol

    Fem, I'm the same way re: holding out hope that I might enjoy them. But, in my age and as my patience continues to wane, I assure myself that there's something on my shelves I'll like better. Who cares if I miss out on one good one when there are 400 potential good ones waiting. Or at least that's what I tell myself!

    Kim, I'm on board with your grandmother! Great idea.

    Enjoy, Lisa!

    Iliana, Stiff is soooo much better than either Spook or Bonk. I don't know what I'll be giving Roach another try, but I'll always cherish Stiff!

    Amen, Elizabeth! I need to have that comment tattooed to my forehead so I'll remember it and lighten up on myself.

    Thanks, Heatheroo! I've had the same feeling about Spook and Bonk...just not human enough. Funny enough, but just sort of blah blah blah facts without much meaning. It's hard to explain.

  10. I managed to "finish" this book with a lot of skimming. I hope you stopped before you got to the disgusting urethra mishaps chapter.

  11. I enjoyed most of Stiff, but not all of it. Haven't felt compelled to read her others, so it's a bit reassuring to know I'm not missing out on anything great.

    I usually don't have a problem ditching a book if it hasn't grabbed me by page 100. However, if it's a book club selection, I'll suffer through it as best as I can. Didn't finish Shadow of the Wind, but I pushed my way through Three Cups of Tea. Both would've been tossed if I were reading them for my own pleasure.

    Off to read your column!


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