It isn't a pleasant feeling for many readers. For some, it could be a grave reminder of their inability to finish a book from start to finish. For others, it is sheer disappointment when a book doesn't strike a chord.
A young reading companion and I coincidentally chose to read Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Angle at about the same time. We had discussed this book at length. When I discovered that this book had a sequel, I decided to gift it to her. This book turned out to be different from what she expected. She shared how she was finding it difficult to understand the plot and as a result at times the book was slow and sometimes boring. But, to her credit, she did not give up on the book. Perhaps the motivating factor was that it was a gift from a reading companion whom she is fond of that kept her going. Or it could have been our resolve at the Young Readers' Club to recognise the hard work that the author would have put in to make the book a reality and hence give the book a chance before abandoning it on a whim. Either way, she kept at it until one day she shared that the book had taken an interesting turn and that it was extremely hard to keep it down.
It is so easy to advise but following the same advice can be so hard!
I went through a similar experience when I first started reading When The River Runs Gold by Sita Brahmachari. I have never read her writing before and it took me a little while to get accustomed to her style. Although there was something enticing about the book, at first I didn't feel the hook. When I met my young reading companions and shared that I had finished 10 pages and couldn't help thinking about abandoning the book, it felt like I was feeling what they sometimes felt when an adult recommends a book but they just can't get through it. A voice in my head however kept reciting our resolve at the Young Readers' Club- to give every book a fair chance before we decide to give up.
I am glad I opened up to my young reading companions. One of them, a nine year old, helped me think differently about the book. He gave me an example of a book he was reading. He said, "You have read only 10 pages. Sometimes it takes time to pick up. I read 40 pages in my book. I was almost ready to give up, it was so boring! But an unexpected twist happened, after which I couldn't put the book down for anything!" His resolve not to give up on that book enhanced my resolve not to give up on my chosen book too. Strangely, after listening to him, I felt better, as if something that was bothering me had slipped away. I went back to my book with a fresh mind. I am now reading chapter 5 and thoroughly enjoying the book. Although it might not be as fast paced as I would like it to be, there is a beauty in the story which is somewhat soothing and I can't wait to find out where the story will lead me to.
His resolve not to give up on that book enhanced my resolve not to give up on my chosen book too.
Readers who have never been able to finish a book cover to cover
This is generally a touchy subject. They don't want to talk about it. It is something that they haven't been able to do. Perhaps, they are yet to find the right book. That they don't know. All that they know is being reprimanded for not finishing any book or self imposed notion that they aren't as good as the others who seem to seamlessly finish one book after another. Open conversations such as the ones mentioned above helps them find support and hope. They just have to find the right book. Reading cohorts can enable everyone of us can support one another in multiple ways in our respective reading journeys. For one it is comforting to know that even avid readers sometimes find it difficult to finish a book cover to cover. But it is also inspiring to know that they don't give up. They keep pushing forward and the reward is sweet and fulfilling.
All that they know is being reprimanded for not finishing any book or self imposed notion that they aren't as good as the others who seem to seamlessly finish one book after another. Open conversations such as the ones mentioned above helps them find support and hope.
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Both weekday and weekend batches are available at the Young Readers' Club. While this program is for the 8-11 age group, the Young Executives' Club program offers spoken and written communication skills development course for the 12-14 age group.
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