Question – Why Do We Keep Buying Bad Books?
Let’s set the scene…
It’s a dark and stormy night. No…scratch that.
It’s a lovely spring day, the flowers are in bloom and the Canada Geese are serenading you with their lovely quiet tune. No, that’s not right either. Canada Geese are anything but quiet. Let’s try this one…
You go to the bookstore and start to peruse the shelves. Suddenly, you see it. It’s looking at you from across the
room store. At first you avert your gaze hoping it didn’t see you. But, when you risk a glance, you see that yup, it noticed you, and it wants you to come over. Bad. It wants you to pick it up, hold it, perhaps even caress it and open it up. And most of all, it wants to you take it home with you. The sad thing? Even knowing better, you will end up doing all of those things – including shelling out the cash and taking it home.
What you just noticed across the store is the next book in a series that you have pretty much lost hope in. It’s a series you absolutely adored but, after three continuous books of crazy plot twists that just stop making sense, you think the author may have either gone through a personality change or has started watching too many hours of the Sci-Fi TV channel. You know the sort of crazy plot twists I speak of… The sort where an alien comes down (when there were no mentions of aliens before that book) to kidnap the heroine’s cousin’s nephew’s priest’s horse then claim that the hero-dude is actually a dudette and that she is the queen of Earth and must to take a job as a hooker to prove it…so she does it while fondling her new boobs because hey, they’re right there! O-o. You actually dread the idea of reading a new installment…yet you do it. You read it anyways! You think it is just ridiculous and you are angry while reading it, and even more angry after having spent all those hours reading it, yet you buy it and read it every single time a new book hits the shelves.
Why? Why do we do this?
Some are stronger and when they say no, they stick to no. They recognize that the series is no longer for them and they resist picking up another book. But many of us don’t do that. We feel we can’t do that. But why?
For me, it’s often guilt. I know that sounds like a crazy reason, and maybe it’s my Canadian conscience talking, but I feel guilty about dropping a series. I feel like I’m thoroughly disappointing the author, who has put her heart and soul into this series for me, a reader, and I feel guilty for not seeing the series to the end. I also feel guilty for letting the characters go. So I dread it, but I keep reading. Another reason I may keep going with a series, even after reading many disappointing installments, is the fear of missing something great. What if the author snaps back and realizes that the direction she was taking the series was perhaps not the best path to take and decides to write the Best. Novel. Ever! I would miss it because I dropped the series! And we can’t have that. 😉
At least these were the reasons I stuck with a series gone bad. I have to say that, yay me, I’m not as bad as I used to be. I now know that it’s not personal to the author or to the characters. That sometimes you lose that chemistry you once felt for a series, much like sometimes you stop feeling attracted to a boyfriend and that’s why you broke up back in the day. It really is “it’s not you, it’s me”.
What about you guys? Guilt, worry, forgetfulness, wishful thinking…why do you think we keep buying BAD books?