Thursday, October 15, 2009

When do you give up on a favorite?

Recently I have run into several auto-buy authors where I have been hugely disappointed by their latest release. Part of this disappointment has to do with the fact that my expectations are obviously high. Auto-buy authors are my favorite authors.

I have one author who I have read over 30 books and finally after one was so bad I just had to ask myself… why do I keep buying her? I didn’t buy her next release. Not even in paperback. What if I'm missing out on her next book though which is amazing?

I have another author who I have read 2 books prior which I loved, but the third was so bad for me I couldn’t finish it. Does she deserve one more chance based on the first two efforts?

I have another author who I have been reading for 20 years. And I just can’t let her go for sentimental reasons even though there is nothing new for me in her stories.

So I thought when do you – as a reader - call it? When do you say the end to this series, this author? Or should you ever if the entertainment they provide is at least better than what might be out there.

I gave up on Lost. But as bad as the True Blood finale was, I’m going back for more. I gave up on Stephanie Plum around book 10. But I’m still buying Eve and Roarke.

I can’t say what it is. Maybe quality, maybe comfort, maybe habit. Or maybe somebody has to turn me off so much that I just can’t go back again.

What about you? When do you know when to say when?


Molly O'Keefe said...

Those keepers are (for me) a strange mix of context and nostalgia and good reading. I find, oddly that the books I buy the most of are books I've heard some buzz about - most of them aren't great. But some are and have become auto-buys. My auto-buys are fewer and farer (how about that you grammer warriors!!!) between. But when writers go to hard back - i get angry. It's like a slap in the face of the loyal reader - it totally makes me angry so a lot of my auto buys have fizzled out when they get to hard back. Buta lot of my favorites switched genres historical to romantic suspence just doesn't work for me.

Maureen McGowan said...

For me it's usually about saturation than a particular book disappointing me. I've glommed a few writers and eventually I get a little bored of their voice and need a break.
Anne Tyler, Anne Rice, John Irving are all writers I used to read EVERYTHING from but haven't read their newer stuff. I have bought the most recent Anne Tylers... Just haven't read them, yet.

I haven't finished the new Emily Giffen, either. I thought it was good... It just wasn't sucking me though the same way her earlier books did.

Eileen said...

I've become much faster to drop TV shows. They can lose me pretty quickly. The impetus to make me turn away really varies though. Usually it's character-driven (Hey, Ms. Kinsale, if you're reading this, that's what's most important to me! Keep it up!). A character or characters will do something unforgivable for me and I will no longer be able to root for them. To wit, every single one of the Desperate Housewives and most of the hospital staff in Grey's Anatomy.

I'm a little more forgiving with books. I'll suffer through a substandard book or two before someone drops off my auto-buy list. On the other hand, it's pretty hard to get ON my auto-buy list. There are so many great books out there, I'm often reluctant these days to return to the same author again because there's so much else out there.

Molly, I LOVE fewer and farer between. I must start using it now!

Allie said...

I gave up on Lost too, and the other day one of my friends told me that it got worlds better RIGHT after I stopped watching. Sigh.

Maureen McGowan said...

I can't quit Lost. I just can't. Or Grey's Anatomy. For me the bad things those characters do, and how they cope with the aftermath, is what I love about the show. That and it makes me cry almost every week.

Desperate Housewives bores me. But somehow I still watch. Those characters aren't meant to be real, I don't think. At least I don't take them as real, whereas the GA characters seem more real to me. Broken as she is, I heart Meredith Grey. Last week's episode with her dad nearly killed me.

Sinead M said...

I'm really quick to give up on things,for example, Fringe and Lost, just before I heard that they both got really good.

I'm about to break up with Dexter, but still hooked on True Blood.

As for authors, one bad book happens, three in a row might be a deal breaker for me, but I can be pretty forgiving there

Eileen said...

The Desperate Housewives characters were actually pissing me off. They had behaved so badly I was actually rooting against them. I had a big ole heart for Meredith for a long time, too, but then it just got too whiney. I felt like we were going over the same territory again and again. In real life, I know that happens. I want my fictional friends to be smarter than that.

Dex still has me hook line and sinker, but then I'm not done watching Season Three yet. :-)

Simone said...

I don't have any true auto-buys. I mean, I loved the Outlander books, but when Roger and Brianna showed up and put me to sleep in book 4 I just shrugged and moved on. No matter my love for an author, I won't buy crap.

I love Mary Balogh, but like Molly I won't buy a hardcover and even with the paperbacks I read the blurb first. If Mary Balogh wrote an amnesia-secret baby plot (my 2 guaranteed annoyances) I would just skip it. Too many other books to read!

Maureen McGowan said...

Eileen, were you still watching when Meridith's mother became lucid for a couple of episodes? And told her how disappointed in her she was? Those socked me in the guts (I don't remember the exact words the mother said, but I physically felt like I was being punched) and explained, for me, why she was so damned broken. And I think that led up to her little near drowning quasi attempted suicide thing.

The only thing in that show so far that I really thought was a mistep was McDreamy's mini-breakdown last season. I didn't believe it. It was kind of interesting to have him fall apart just as she was finally getting her shit together, but I just didn't believe it. They've painted his character as a WAY TOO stable guy for him to break down over one mistake. (Even if someone died. People die on him all the time. He's a freaking brain surgeon.)

Okay. Clearly more passionate about this show than I realized. ;-)

I gave up on Fringe after the first episode... but might try again. No. No. I do not need another TV show to follow.

As for dropped ones. ER.

That was must see TV for me for so many seasons, but I dropped it at least 3 or 4 seasons before it ended. maybe I dropped it when I started watching Grey's.

Stephanie Doyle said...

I gave up on Desperate... after season 1. Grey's after season 2.

I'm about to break up with Heros.

Bones right now is my only must see show. Everything else is DVRD and I'll get to when I get to it.


Julie said...

I think it depends on a lot of factors. One of my favorite authors has taken her career in a new direction the last couple years, and she's no longer an auto-buy for me. But she's still a fantastic writer, so I still buy about half her books. It's just that she's expanded into genres that don't interest me.

On the other hand, if an author starts to bore me? If the passion and sparkle are gone from her writing? I'm likely to just lose interest.

Funny, this post got me thinking about authors I used to read that I don't anymore, and I remembered a best-selling author that was one of my auto-buys for a while, until I outgrew her. I didn't notice a change in her writing quality, and I'm pretty sure she's still out there writing the same types of stories. But my life is in a different place now, and I'm no longer interested in the kinds of humor and relationships that drew me to her in the first place. She didn't change; my needs as a reader changed.

MJFredrick said...

I'm about to break up with Heroes, too. I think Grey's is having one of its best seasons.

My auto-buys change, not necessarily because of them, but because my tastes change. Or the writer writes faster than I can read and I get left behind. This happened with the In Death. I don't even know where I left off.

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