You Don’t Always Have to Finish

“Don’t get me wrong; I like reading. But some books should come with warning labels: Caution: contains characters and plots guaranteed to induce sleepiness.” ~ Laure Halse Anderson

woman leaning on table

It was quite disappointing, actually. I just wanted a bit of what I call “fluff” reading. Nothing too serious, but enjoyable. It was one of my favorite “fluffy” authors, even. When I say “fluff” I simply mean non-scholarly, non-journal, non-educational good reading.

The premise was a group of American emergency physicians who traveled to France to compare terrorism response techniques and then in turn hosted their French counterparts in America. While it was clearly fiction, it was also clearly not researched at all . . . AT ALL! What I thought would be an interesting listen (it was an audible book) turned out to be frustrating and maddening. I kept giving it more and more chances, but by Chapter Eight I had to give up. It was so far-fetched and ludicrous it was nauseating. Fortunately, I was able to return it and get my credit refunded to purchase another book.

I would describe a book as well-written if you KNOW it’s fiction, but you believe it could be non-fiction. When you believe it COULD happen, but it hasn’t. This requires some background research into the subject matter, not an assumption of what occurs. In this case, the perceived response in emergency medicine and terrorism response was so far from realistic it was laughable. It was as if the book was written by someone who watched NCIS and CSI truly believing that crimes are solved in an hour’s time with four 5-minute breaks included. Most definitely not what I expected from a well-established author with several best seller’s under her belt.

In the past, I would have persevered and finished the book regardless of how I felt about it. I am very proud that I stopped . . . returned it and refused to waste any more of my time listening. Instead, I selected a book by another favorite author of mine which has had me in it’s grips since before the ending of the first chapter. It was also nice to learn that Kindle Audible allows books to be returned before being finished if they aren’t enjoyed. I was prepared to be out the price of my credit, but it was a very pleasant surprise to find they stand behind their service and want the customer to be satisfied.

Life is too short to waste precious time on those things which are unnecessary and don’t bring joy.

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