How soon do you give up on a book?

posted 2 years ago in The Lounge
  • poll: When do you give up on reading a book, assuming you are reading for yourself?

    Less than 10 pages in

    10% of the book

    20% of the book

    halfway through

    almost to the end

    I always finish a book I started

  • Post # 2
    Member
    9967 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2012

    I am an extremely picky reader and most love the highest quality literature possible, the classics.  I will practically throw a book against the wall within five pages if the writing sucks.  (Well, used to but I now I have a Kindle that I live for so not so much any more).  I have zero patience for poor writing. 

    I’m the same way with a movie, I’ll give it ten minutes and if it hasn’t captured my interest I move on to the next movie in the queue.  My time is valuable and I refuse to waste it on crappy entertainment/literature.  Luckily there is a lot of high quality entertainment out there so it’s not a problem and I’ve never regretted doing so.

    Post # 3
    Member
    1460 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2019 - City, State

    I’m a book editor, so by nature (and profession) I judge books really quickly.  But for my own pleasure reading, I am extremely selective about the books I choose to read.  It’s my job to read and fix bad writing ALL day, so I’m unlikely to just pick up any old book at the store and say, “eh, this looks like it might be ok.”  If I’m using my precious personal reading time to dive into something, I want assurance that it’s likely to be enjoyable.  That said, of course you come across books that look good but are unfulfilling, and for those I really try to give them at least until the “turning point” of the book, which is generally 1/3 or 1/2 through.  If the turn doesn’t interest me, sometimes I’ll bail.  But most of the time I finish books entirely on principle, lol.

    Post # 4
    Member
    9967 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: September 2012

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    hickoryhills :  You have my dream job!

    Post # 5
    Member
    1460 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: November 2019 - City, State

    View original reply
    Sunfire :  Thanks!  I hear that a lot, haha.  I do love my job to bits.  Like all jobs it doesn’t come without its downsides, but I like to think it’s interesting work. =)

    Post # 6
    Member
    8997 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper

    View original reply
    lauralaura123 :  I almost always finish the books I start, but I don’t hold myself hostage to it if I’m not drawn in. I actually just finished a book I started two years ago that I’d pick up and put down a bunch. I read plenty of other books in the meantime though. Once I stopped forcing myself to read one book in it’s entirety before I moved on to the next I found I read more and was more likely to go back and finish the books that hadn’t grabbed my attention the first time around. 

    Post # 7
    Member
    1709 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: City, State

    I made it 14 pages into the first Twilight book and then gave the entire series to a friend’s little sister.  So, it doesn’t take me long.

    Post # 8
    Member
    1015 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2019

    That depends. If I start reading and the writing is bad, I’ll last only a few pages. I always read the first few pages of a book before I actually buy it (either in store or online), and the book has to capture my interest from the beginning for me to actually buy and read it. It’s disappointing for me to buy a book because I’m sucked in at the beginning, and then a little further in I start to lose interest, or I don’t like the characters, or it’s unrealistic, or whatever. I’ll usually try getting halfway through, no matter how much I’m not liking it, before giving up entirely. When I get to the halfway point, even if I’m not super interested, I’ll still try reading to the end. What really makes me give up entirely is the characters, whether I just don’t like them, or they keep reacting to situations in completely unrealistic/annoying/melodramatic ways.

    Post # 9
    Member
    675 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2015

    I tend to read good books slowly but I carve out a lot of time for reading fiction and I’ll race through so-so books if I’m interested in how the plot turns out. I just finished a not very good book this morning because  it had an interesting premise and I wanted to see how it turned out (The Last Mrs. Parrish, if it’s on anyone’s list). I will also finish books that I don’t like if I think reading them will offer a new perspective or if people in my circles are reading them – I work in an industry where being able to talk about arts and culture is very important.

    The last good book I read was the Antonya Nelson anthology Funny Once and it was excellent so I tried to take my time. Books can also be flawed and worth finishing (I’m thinking of My Year of Rest and Relaxation, which I just finished). I average 20 or 25 books a month (I have a chill job and no kids) so I think if I had less time, I’d be pickier. 

    Post # 10
    Member
    3016 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: December 2017 - Courthouse

    I love to read and the older I get the more I try to open my reading horizons. I can count on one hand the number of books I didn’t finish, and probably about 3 of them were for school. Yes, I was that student who read almost all of the books assigned. 

    Because I read a lot I think I can usually tell by reading the summary if I will like a book or not. I just recently finished a book I was having a hard time getting through. I’m glad I finished it though. It wasn’t a bad book, it just wasn’t something that I was particularly excited in finishing. 

    Post # 11
    Member
    1333 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2017 - A vineyard

    For me it really just depends on how absolutely terrible it is. If it’s really that bad, maybe halfway. If it’s so so I usually finish it anyway because I find reading enjoyable. I used to bring home a big bag of books from the library weekly that took me and my brother to carry and finish them all lol. I have some books though I haven’t finished at all yet. Not because they are that bad, but because I save them for sitting in the E.R only. I do most of my reading on my phone these days because if we bought as many books as I wanted to read, our house would be filled lol. 

    Post # 12
    Member
    2393 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: NJ

    i seem to always find something in a book to be interested in. I don’t know if I have ever abandoned a book. 

    My H once gave me a trilogy I had never heard of, and each volume was average 700 pages long. I was ‘if I don’t like these this is a problem’. So I started the first one, and it “kicked in” on page one. I loved that trilogy, and got the next 2 trilogies in the series, some of my favorite books ever. He has gottem me started on so many authors.

    Post # 13
    Member
    258 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    Depends. I tried reading The Jungle like 3-4 times and hated it. One day I picked it up again and read it straight through and LOVED it. 

    Usually if I don’t finish one though, this is what happened:  I start to read a book, get bored, and put it down and do something else, then open my kindle app a week later and realize I totally forgot I even downloaded it. Then I don’t bother reading more if it, because if I forgot I even had it, then surely I didn’t like it, right?

    Post # 14
    Member
    3317 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: January 2021

    I used to try to force myself to read at least half a book before giving up, and even then I’d try to force myself to finish it, but I realised that I just can’t. If I’m not into the book, I’ll just keep having to read pages over again because my mind is elsewhere and I’m not absorbing any of it, so it will take me forever to finish and in the time I’m forcing myself to suffer through it, I could have been breezing through 2-3 books I actually enjoy. So now, if I’m a few chapters in and I’m not feeling it, then so be it. I will quit.

    Post # 15
    Bee
    5212 posts
    Bee Keeper

    I speed read naturally, I’m not sure how I do it. There are certain kinds of books I avoid on principle (love stories make me gag. The Outlander series, once so good, has fallen to that level)  but once in a while I get one that is so boring. I stop anywhere from 10% – 20% in. This is why I like to get samples on Amazon before I get the whole book. Love my Kindle.

     

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