Second chances are hard things to come by. It’s hard to receive second chances and it’s hard to give them out. Talking about books specifically, second chances are even harder for me to give. If I don’t like a book or I don’t finish a book, I will usually never give it another glance.
But I’ve been thinking lately…there are some books that I might want to give another chance. And it makes me wonder when are there times that you should try giving books second chances? When you should revisit a DNF or try reading a book you just didn’t particularly like when you read it years ago? Let’s think about it.
The DNF books
I don’t often not finish books but when I do, there are many different reasons. Definitely just felt like that meme guy. Okay, I gave in. I had to make it a meme.
But seriously, I’m not really one to not finish books. Which sometimes results in excessive amounts of eye-rolling and guffawing when a book really annoys me. But it does sometimes happen. I’m planning on writing a post with these reasons explained in-depth, but I think each person has different things that would cause them to close a book for good.
But, like I said, many reasons. But what if I would have finished the book and loved it? What if I just didn’t give it enough of a chance? This is something I always wonder, especially with popular books that I didn’t like. Buuuuut, what if I try to read a DNF book again and you hate it just as much…or more? Let’s talk examples here. Because the Gone Girl movie was about to come out, there was a ton of hype surrounding that book. About how it’s crazy and twisty and you-won’t-see-that-coming. Honestly, that sounds like my kind of book. So I started reading it. And I couldn’t get past the first 15%, I’d say. It was so crude. And I feel like it didn’t need to be crude. And sometimes I could get past that because the story sometimes overshadows it…but I just couldn’t. So I closed the book. But then the movie comes out and again: hype. So I thought to myself, Maybe I didn’t get it a fair shot. Let’s try it again. I check out the book. I open the book. I make it to about 20% when I close it, sighing over the same thing. Disheartened. I sincerely wanted to like this book. But it just didn’t work for me, even the second time around.
But I think that’s just one book. I think there are probably many books that would change how you think about a book on the second go-around.
The Okay or Disliked Books
So there are the DNF books. But what about the books that you read all the way through but didn’t particularly like? Or actually disliked? Cause these books have me wondering all the time. What if I’d like it this time? Why does everyone else like it? Did I miss something that made it great? You know. Again, this usually happens to me with hyped books. Why didn’t I like it if everyone else did? And then I start to want to read it again.
This happened to me recently with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I read this right when it came out, so like four years ago, and I just didn’t like it. I don’t remember hating it. I just remembered not really liking it and thinking it was kind of weird. And just recently I heard that Tim Burton is making it into a movie. Tim Freaking Burton. And now there’s a sequel to the first book. So automatically I’m like Psh, four years ago I was only 16 years old. What did I know? And I’m itching for a re-read to see if I would like it now. BUT WHAT IF I STILL DON’T LIKE IT? These questions haunt me.
The Hated Books
We all have them. The hated books. The ones that make you so agitated you could throw it against the wall (and, honestly, you may have already done that). This section of books is a lot easier for me to just say no. It’s like drugs. Just Say No. If you hated it that much the first time, you honestly probably won’t like it the second time. Unless you’ve 360ed as a person.
One example, though, where I’ve actually contemplated this is the Divergent series. So, I enjoyed the first one but then the following two were enough to make me hate the series. Seriously, I can rant about that book series for awhile. And I wanted to write a blog post about it. But I read those books about two years ago before my blogging days and therefore didn’t have any notes or anything. So I felt like to write a post about why I dislike Divergent so much, I’d have to re-read the entire series. To be accurate, you know. But I haven’t re-read them. I can’t bring myself to do it. And the post is still sitting in my drafts. So we’ll just have to see what happens.
Why We Might Want to Try Giving Books Second Chances
I don’t think every book deserves a second chance. Badly written books are going to stay badly written. Books that you hated are not suddenly going to become 5-star favorites. Buuuut, there are some things that do change that may affect it. Like time and age and experience. The person who read that “meh” book five years ago isn’t the same person who’d read it today. The characters or story might affect you differently now. But with giving books second chances, we risk wasting time on a book that we still won’t like or that we still might not finish. But we also take the chance on finding a book that will touch us. Will change us. And sometimes, that’s a risk worth taking.
What do you think? Have you given books second chances before? How did those turn out? Or do you not like to give books another go-around? Let me know!