I’m in my winter reading phase, where all my free time is spent reading either fantasy novels or other types of fiction. I used to read every novel from beginning to end, no matter how pathetic the plot. As I got older, I got less patient. Some books turned into what I termed ‘Wallbangers”.
Ever read a book where the main character was too stupid to live? But somehow bumbled his/her way through the novel saved by the sidekick or Deus Ex Machina? The heroine who digs herself in deeper and deeper when just shutting up would help her out tremendously? The villain that doesn’t quite know how to villain properly? All about on par with the movies where teens split up to roam through the evil woods or haunted house separately. Are You Stupid??
Apparently the answer is yes. When my eyes were better, I read paperbacks. I’d get a sinking feeling when the protagonist started off Chapter One an idiot and didn’t improve by Chapter Six.
In the back of my mind was the thought, One more stupid action and I’m so done with you…
The moment of truth arrives. I can’t take it anymore. I fling the book across the room toward a wall designated for just that purpose. The book is now a wallbanger. As it collapses to the floor, so does my interest in it. I am done. I will not read any further.
A few hardbacks went that way also, but since I spent more money on them I was more careful about what I bought. Trusted authors. Then came my Kindle. E-books presented a special dilemma. I wasn’t about to throw my expensive toy against the wall. With the rise of self-published novels, the opportunity for wallbangers grows exponentially. It’s not quite the same when you punch the ‘delete from device’, then ‘delete from carousel’ buttons.
The books haunt you. The wallbanger books and their authored kin follow you across Amazon like a persistent puppy. “You bought this book by this author, now buy 7 more continued stories in the same universe, with the same substandard hero.” No thanks. To solve my need to let the book know how I felt, I have a stand in paperback. It’s shabby and old, but ready for me when I delete my e-book and need to vent. It makes a satisfying whap against the far wall. If I could get that same thunk-flutter-thud sound when I push delete on my Kindle, I’d be a happy woman.