Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Books That Fall Short

During my reading career, when I was younger, had more stamina, and definitely more patience with some authors/books, I finished every book I started and to add insult to injury I would read other books by that "dreadful author". I'm ashamed to say how many Clarissa Ross gothics I read back in the '70s, you'd think that once burned I'd run screaming in the other direction.

Yesterday I read - no, let me reword that and say I finished a historical romance that had been mentioned positively on the Regency list and that I had high hopes for, but it fell terribly short in my opinion. Now you have to understand that Regency fans are an incredibly discerning group of readers. We take pride in knowing Our Era, not that we go into every read planning to pull it apart but when you know your subject the boo-boos simply jump out at you. To most readers this doesn't matter, the whole picture counts, not necessarily individual scenes, but I most always second-guess myself when a book falls short. What's wrong with me? I just have to accept that not every author, not every book, appeals to every reader. And that I have no right to gasp! and shake my head when someone posts that they don't like Austen, or Heyer, or Balogh, or Chase. Omigod four of the greatest icons of Regency-set romance and not everyone likes them?

So, I move on. Repost that "really awful historical romance" at PaperbackSwap so someone else on the wish list can enjoy it (one can only wonder), and continue to be hopeful when someone on a listserv raves about a book (there might really be a gem in all that hype), and the first rule of action when a book falls short is Steer Clear Of That Author forever and always. There is no second rule of action. Happy reading one and all.

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