Writers get a lot of feedback about our work. Some of it good. Some not so great. Some readers love our books. Others don’t. It would be great to be universally loved, but it’s unrealistic. Not every writer is every reader’s cup of Chai Latte. I happen to love love love secret baby books, but I can’t bring myself to crack the first page of an amnesia story. Other readers love amnesia and hate secret babies. We readers bring our own life lessons and experiences, sets of likes and dislikes, to every book we read.
Before I was a writer, I was a reader. I read everything I could get my hands on. I read everything from Flaubert and Tolstoy, to LaVyrle Spencer and Sandra Brown. One thing I’ve noticed about my reading habits throughout the years is that sometimes I don’t read the last fifty pages or so of a book. I can’t help it. When the book feels over for me, I put it down. When Madame Bovary ate the arsenic, the book was over for me. She was dead and I didn’t care what happened to Charles. I loved Flaubert’s style, but I was done. The same is true when I read romance. When the hero and heroine acknowledge their love, I put the book down. I don’t care what happens after that. I don’t care if they are being chased by robbers and thugs and must find buried treasure in order for the heroine to save her father from debtor’s prison . The story is done for me. The romance is resolved, and I can’t force myself to read on.
One of the criticisms I hear about my own books is that they end too abruptly. That’s probably true, but I write like I read. When the book feels done, I am done. When the hero and heroine acknowledge their love, its time to write “the end.” The romance is resolved and I can’t force myself to write more. I’ve tried but I get bored and fall asleep sitting up.
How about you? Do you stop reading when a book feels done to you or do you read until the bitter end? Do you like some skullduggery, or do you prefer a more straightforward romance? Do you have weird reading quirks? And speaking of skullduggery, where are all the pirate books? I miss pirate books.