Monday, March 15, 2010

The Page 50 Rule

I have established and decided to follow 'the page 50 rule'.  That rule says that if you aren't really into a book by page 50, kick it to the curb (or, the library usually) and move on.

Yes, I am still reading 'An Echo in the Bone' and slowly making progress.  Hey, it took the author three years to write it and I figure I can spend a few months, or several, reading it.  So, I have exceptions.

In the interim I just returned a book to the libray titled 'Remarkable Creatures'.  The book was not remarkable unless you are into fossils, which I am not.  It is by the author of 'The Girl with the Pearl Earring' which I enjoyed.  Not so this time.  Page 50 and done.

I started this rule after slogging my way through 'The Story of Edgar Sawtelle' in 2008.  I had read a review about how wonderful this story was.  It was a fairly long book.  Took me three weeks to read it.  I hated it.  When I got to the last page I was angry that I had wasted my time.  A year later they reviewed this book at my local library.  The audience was split between loving and hating it.  One woman who hated it said she quit at page 50 and wanted to know why anyone considered it to be so great, which is why she and I both showed up.

AHA!  The birth of the page 50 rule.  No longer would I feel compelled to read something because someone said it was great literature.  I had to endure that kind of crap in school.  I want to read for pure pleasure of reading.

I have since ditched Dan Brown's 'The Lost Symbol' (boring) and James Patterson's 'Alex Cross's Trial' (preachy) and 'Swimsuit' (do I really need to read that much violent literature?).  I should have passed on the recent 'Piano Teacher' but I kept thinking something good was going to come of it.  NOT.

There are too many good books to read and too many good movies to watch to waste my time on drivel.  This morning I returned a foreign movie to Netflix after trying for ten minutes to read subtitles that did not match up with the actors talking and I couldn't figure out who was saying what. 

Try the page 50 rule.  You'll be glad you did.

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