In Which Our Heroine Keeps Her Card

21 February 2005

I told Andrew Saturday night that if you don't feed people frequently enough, they take away your Norwegian Girl License. (This is one of those things that's no less true of one ethnicity for being thoroughly true of several, several others.) Timprov told Andrew he thought I was working on April's quota, if that was the case.

Well, you never know when you're going to get sick and fall behind, and then you're trying to do without a license, and that just gets messy, having to work around it all.

Anyway, the fridge is jammed full of leftovers, and everyone left more or less content last night, I think. We ate leftovers after Kev left today, and we have plenty left for lunch and possibly dinner tomorrow.

I finished reading Anthony Price's Here Be Monsters, and it was better than Sion Crossing, as expected. (Although there was still too much Latimer.) I've started Martha Wells's The Wizard Hunters, and so far it's just missing me. I don't mean it's going over my head, I mean it's just kind of sliding off, not making much of an impact; I clearly remember enough of The Death of the Necromancer to pick up the threads at the beginning of this book without difficulty, but none of it is really touching me at all. I have another of Wells's books on my pile borrowed from Stella, and if that one doesn't send me, I think I'll give up absent other data on the subject.

One of you-all wrote to ask me about giving up on books, and I really don't think the reader owes the writer anything on this point. If you're 50 pages in and you don't care, you really honestly could not possibly care less what happens in the book -- stop. Books are not castor oil. Sure, if you have some reason like wanting to learn what makes something a classic of English literature or promising people you'd read and discuss it or having to write a review of it, go on ahead and finish it. Or if the author is your spouse or child or in some other way very close to you; that might be a good time to grit your teeth and keep reading. (Or it might not. Depends on the spouse/child/etc.) But if the author hasn't given you a reason to care 50 pages in, the author has already broken any implied contract between the two of you. Do not feel guilty about abandoning the book. The world is filled with really awesome books. The world is overflowing with pretty decent books. (Hmm. Maybe that's just my corner of it.) Chances are very good that you don't need to waste time and energy on something you can't bring yourself to care about.

(On the other hand, I sometimes will read books that don't excite me because this is my profession, and it's good to know what's going on in different areas of one's profession, even if some of those different areas are crap. Perhaps especially then: as galling as it is to be accused of ripping off a great author, it has to be even worse to be accused of ripping off a mediocrity. So I don't always follow this entirely reasonable advice. But if writing isn't your profession, for heaven's sake, read what you like and don't worry about us author-people. You only owe us anything if we've delivered.)

Today is one of those days, as I told my mom on e-mail, where I added a lot more to my to do list than I took off it. But that's all right; some days have to be like that. Organization good and all that.

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