How soon do you give up on a book?

posted 11 months 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 : (9 votes)
    12 %
    10% of the book : (20 votes)
    27 %
    20% of the book : (14 votes)
    19 %
    halfway through : (9 votes)
    12 %
    almost to the end : (1 votes)
    1 %
    I always finish a book I started : (21 votes)
    28 %
  • Post # 16
    Member
    699 posts
    Busy bee

    First chapter. If the first chapter is like pulling teeth i’m done!

    Post # 17
    Member
    2823 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: November 2017

    lauralaura123 :  it depends how much I paid for it! Lol! I usually give it up 20% or so. I try to research before I buy. I use the preview thing fairly often to get a good sense if I’m going to like it or not. 

    Post # 18
    Member
    1599 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2019 - City, State

    I used to finish everything I picked up, but I haven’t been able to do that since college. I just don’t have the patience for poor writing anymore. If I have an issue with the style, I’m usually out by page 10.

    Though sadly, I just don’t read for fun much anymore. I have to do so much reading for my masters program I generally feel like if I find the time to read, it should be “productive” reading. 

    Post # 19
    Member
    512 posts
    Busy bee

    As a writer, it’s very difficult for me to get into reading a book. I have to be attracted to the writing and characters from the first few pages or I’m not going to continue.

    Post # 20
    Member
    4910 posts
    Honey bee

    lauralaura123 :  Depends one time I got to the end and thought,  man that did NOT get better! Lol. Other times I can’t get past the first chapter. Sometimes it’s a matter of the wrong timing if you will. I had a book I couldn’t get past Chapter One after multiple tries, then two years later picked it up again and finished it in three days. 

    Post # 21
    Member
    99 posts
    Worker bee
    • Wedding: January 2019

    I tend to buy most books that I want to read, so I feel obligated to finish them. That being said, there are a few books that I’ve read about half of and are now sitting around waiting to be picked back up again. And I most likely will pick them back up and finish them. . . just eventually.

    I think the book I gave up on the quickest was Interview With The Vampire. I am not sure I even finished one chapter. It’s sitting on my shelf and I think I might just need to stick it in a Little Library somewhere.

    Post # 22
    Member
    422 posts
    Helper bee

    At least halfway. Lots of great books, especially classics, can be written in a style that’s difficult to get into at first. But after awhile you get into flow of the book and its worth it in the end.

    Post # 23
    Member
    970 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2018 - Tizer Gardens/Carroll College

    I think I’ve only ever given up on 5 books. I try to finish everything I pick up, but it’s kind of made reading a chore, so now that I have Amazon Prime AND kindle unlimited, I’m more likely to abandon a book. Before, if I spent good money on it, I was finishing it (The Columbus Affair took two years)!

    For me it’s either so slow (Winter’s Tale), I don’t care about or relate to the characters (Catcher in the Rye), or as a visual reader (I have a pretty good imagination and can “see” story in my head with faces and places and all), if I just can’t SEE the story (IE the Hobbit).

    Post # 24
    Member
    752 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: City, State

    Usually a chapter or two in I’ll know if I’m going to finish the book or not. The only one I got further into knowing I wouldn’t  finish it was. The Time Travellers wife my friend raved about it and knowing full well my incredible distaste for any romance novels, insisted I try it, she went as far as buying me a copy. I knew before even opening the book it wasn’t going to be my cup of tea, but as I’ve done that before with books she’s got me and I’ve actually enjoyed (not romance stories though) I figured I’d give it a proper go. I got a quarter of the way through before launching it across my living room in frustration. 

    Post # 25
    Member
    125 posts
    Blushing bee

    I used to refuse to ever dnf a book, as though it was some kind of personal failure if I didn’t finish. Now, I’m much too busy to keep going with something that really doesn’t interest me. I always read the first 1-3 chapters before I buy or borrow a book, and if it doesn’t make me want to read on then I don’t.

    Post # 26
    Member
    2510 posts
    Sugar bee

    It depends. If it’s poorly written or a genre I can’t get into (e.g. most scifi/fantasy), I probably won’t last long. But one of the large reasons I read is to expand my perspective and try to see the world through someone else’s eyes, so there are many things I will read to completion for that reason without necessarily enjoying them – that’s not always the point for me. And lots of literature has difficult sections or is just difficult to read period – e.g. experimental structures or troubling content that is making a larger point. For example, I read about 500 pages of 2666 before walking away (in the section that is literally just dozens of homicide reports of murdered women – too much for me!). If a book is shorter, I will usually finish it. And I find that most books don’t pick up till at least 50-100 pages in, so I tend not to judge books by their first chapter. 

    Post # 27
    Member
    416 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: November 2018

    I’m a completist so I’ll most likely finish the book unless it’s really, really bad. There was one 950+ page book that I thought was so dull I almost couldn’t finish, but I picked up the audiobook version and the excellent narrator helped!

    Post # 28
    Member
    1152 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2019 - Tacoma, WA

    If I don’t like the writing after the first page, I stop reading it. There is some truly bad writing out there and I can’t stand it. If the writing is decent but the story isn’t engaging right away, I’ll usually give it at least a couple of chapters before I give up and move onto something else.

    Post # 29
    Member
    251 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2016

    I usually finish a book if I start it. It has to be really, really bad for me to give up on it. Sometimes at the end I am sort of like “meh”, but usually I do pic books that I know I will like (familiar author/reccomendation/interesting subject matter/ect). 

    I also tend to read at the gym during LISS cardio or at night if I can’t sleep (sadly, thats pretty much the only time I have to commit to reading), so sometimes it’s just a distraction to pass the time.

    Post # 30
    Member
    8324 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper

    lauralaura123 :  

    I am in the almost always finish camp. But I am very selective to start with so it is not all that usual I would  pick up a book by an author I had never heard of/had recommended without checking it fairly  closely first.

    I read the first page, then go to about a third in and read a page or two there  . If the writing is bad  –  purple prose,  adolescent in  style , or all sentences have only  five or six words or something then no,  I won’t  start  it .  

    If  it is about , or heavily relies on descriptions of sexual sadism/violence to women or any form  of animal cruelty  I definitely won’t  start it , and if it occurs  unexpectedly I would  have to skip or at worst abandon. Don’t  like romantic luuurve stories either.

    Good question OP.  

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