Let’s Talk about giving authors a second (or third) chance

I try to keep my “to be read” list locked down and part of that is being really strict about what I add. It has to be a book I really want to read and one I really think I’ll get to. I don’t add later books in a series until I’ve read and liked the first. More importantly, if I dislike a book by an author, I cut my losses.

Generally this involves a two-or-three strike policy; I’ll try two books by an author and if I dislike them both I move on with my life. If two of the books are part of the same series I will give three chances. (Unless it’s a book I really dislike for whatever reason, then it’s often a one-strike policy.)

I am starting to re-evaluate this strategy.

I had already read and not totally loved two books by White. One book wasn’t what I wanted it to be and the other just wasn’t a personally satisfying read. It happens. I assumed that, although White’s books always sound great and are often go-to recommendations that I give other readers, her writing style just didn’t work for me as a reader.

Then something interesting happened. I read White’s story “Welcome to Christmas, CA” in My True Love Gave to Me and I adored it. I literally cried while reading this story because it was so touching and beautiful and perfect.

Then I started hearing about Illusions of Fate on goodreads and I was totally enchanted by the premise and the cover. Then other bloggers I trust started telling me it was really good. So I decided to read it. And it was everything I hoped for and more. For most of the time while I was reading, I couldn’t stop smiling. I began recommending it to people while I was still reading it.

I’ll talk more about why I loved the book in my review. Here I wanted to talk about the fact that I took a chance on this book and it totally paid off.

Now this could mean my tastes have changed. It could mean that White’s writing style has changed. Or it could mean that my reading tastes have a lot to do with plot and premises that I find appealing.

What does that mean about my two-strike policy? Have I missed other books by authors I wasn’t sure about but might ultimately love? There’s no way to know and since I am so strict with my TBR I won’t be going back to re-evaluate all of the authors I’ve elected to skip. But perhaps like all good rules my reading policy might sometimes be made to be broken.

So let’s talk about giving authors a second chance in the comments. At what point do YOU cut your losses with a certain author or series?

2 thoughts on “Let’s Talk about giving authors a second (or third) chance

  1. I think it depends on what isn’t working for you. If you’re not bonding with the main character(s) but you like the author’s style, there’s a good chance you’ll like one of their other books. Then again, style does evolve over time and often writers try different things in different books, so it’s always worth a second chance. Equally, readers change over time and you might come to like an author if you try them later on in life.

    I think the real killer is when you find the author offensive. That might be because of the language they use, the amount of sex/violence in their books or the views they express (not necessarily those of a single character, but the “message” of the book). Then again, reading is partly about expanding your mind…

    Like

    1. These are good points. Often for me it is a content thing–not necessarily that I find something offensive but that it is too much for me to deal with as a reader. My tolerance for violence or gore in books has become particularly low after the last year.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.