John does this a lot, this abandoning, though he wouldn't call it that, and it's less because he isn't enjoying the book and more because he loves books so much he can't stop buying more of them all the time and then can't wait to start them. So our coffee table is always thoroughly littered with unfinished books.
Tyler Cowen also advocates throwing books away if they're bad. Don't sell them or donate to a library; remove the offending material, the potential brain poison from the set of readable things. How do we feel about this? Is this a more active form of a bad review, a refusal to create publicity of any kind for garbage? Or does it smack of fascism?
I advocate reviewing books for personal gain. (Or writing "essays" if you prefer.) It forces one to finish the book and be contemplative about it. This makes you smarter and helps you appreciate other books more. Compounding personal benefits! Benefits to the author, press and public are secondary.
I advocate keeping a book or non-trashy magazine in one's (my) bag at all times so one is (I am) never forced to read the Metro. The Metro printed the following headline last week:
They meant the opposite of course, but a "newspaper" can't call you-know-what-I-meansies. That is appalling. Plus, the accompanying graphic looked like this:
Seeing as "in America" we read left to right, this makes it look like the poverty rate is indeed going down. Metrotards.
While I'm at it, how dumb is it that the Weekly Dig has a five-star rating system in which two stars equal "average" and one star equals "meh"? Doesn't "meh" pretty much mean average? According to Urban Dictionary it signifies indifference; it's a "verbal shrug." For the love of God, can't things get worse than meh? I mean shouldn't three stars, which is plumb in the middle of the scale, symbolize averageness or that-which evokes-meh, with one star reserved for the horrible? What happens when the next Howard the Duck comes out? OK, I kind of like Howard the Duck. It's like, "What did you think of the terrorist attack?" "Meh."