Book Thought – To finish or not to finish? That is the question

To readers, there is one question that is asked occasionally and can pose serious reader consequences.  Should I finish this book or should I stop immediately before I die of boredom?

I had started this post recently, when I came across another book blogger’s post (Books Speak Volumes) on the same topic.  And if you’re interested in books, which could be why you are reading this post, you should check out her blog as well because it’s one of my favorites.

Anyway, here’s the scenario:

You start a book and realize you are not a fan.  What do you do?  Allow yourself to stop reading or do you keep pressing through it in hopes that it gets better?

I will almost always read to page 100, in hopes that my lack of interest stems from being introduced to the book.  I will stop before page 100 if there’s something I can’t stand in the book, like ghosts or witches or a super weak female character who needs help doing absolutely anything.

After I reach page 100, I have to make a choice.

Some people refuse to stop reading and will keep pressing forward.  I’ve done this, including with the first 2 50 Shades books (because I kept thinking there HAD to be more story line and less sex as it continued, but I was wrong).  In those cases, I read as much and as fast as possible to get the pain over with!

Another tactic I have used is set a plan for reading the rest of the book, like 50 pages today and then I can watch my favorite show on DVR.

However, once I’m 100 pages in, if I’m miserable, then I might stop reading.  I have so many books on my to-read list that I would hate to miss out on another book that could be fabulous.  I keep thinking of that quote, “so many books, not enough time” and sometimes I worry I won’t ever have enough time.  Therefore, why stick with something that’s driving me crazy?

For books I have stopped, I’ll either set them back on the shelf for a later trial or mark them off my list forever and ever.

To finish or not to finish?  That is the question!

What are your thoughts on not finishing a book you have started? Do you have a tactic to get through a tough read or do you say “screw it” and move on?

Thanks for reading,

Rebecca

**And as a side note, if you are wondering why I haven’t been as up-to-date with my posts in the past two weeks, I just moved from Florida to Denver, driving across the country, and am just getting settled into my new home!

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12 thoughts on “Book Thought – To finish or not to finish? That is the question

  1. I know what you mean. I have tried reading Wicked four times at least. The musical is my absolute favorite, but I just can’t get through the book. I want so bad to like it but every time I give it another go I end up completely losing interest. I take it on a book by book basis. Wicked is STILL sitting on my bookshelf waiting for it’s next chance. 🙂

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    • Stephanie,

      I read “Wicked” a few years ago on recommendation from a friend, and I have never seen the musical. Honestly, I thought “Wicked” was an interesting take on the Wizard of Oz experiences, but it was also pretty strange. Whenever you do pick it up again, it is worth finishing, even though I found it odd.

      Thanks for reading,

      Rebecca

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  2. I used to finish everything I’ve started, but now I say “screw it” and move on. Life is too short to read bad books. I’ve only had to put down two so far, but I don’t feel bad about doing it.

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    • Heather,

      You said it! I think that you’re on to something, too. Since I rarely stop reading a book, I find it easier to put one down that is awful without any guilt. And like you said, life is too short!

      Thanks for reading,

      Rebecca

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    • I’m with Heather. I used to finish everything no matter what. Now if I find myself rolling my eyes or struggling to get through clunky dialogue I move on to something else.

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    • Well lucky you! That’s good to have only picked up books that have satisfied your tastes! Maybe you just like a large variety of books. Do you have a strategy to ensure that you always enjoy the book you pick up?

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  3. I used to force myself to finish. Now I do my best to give it a good try because sometimes what starts off slow really takes off. But if I’m a good way into it and it doesn’t do it for me, I just give up. So many books, so little time. Doesn’t mean they’re good or bad necessarily, but we all have different tastes.

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    • I agree with you completely! I give it that good try, but sometimes I put a book down because I can’t stand it, and other times I put it down with full intentions on picking it up later, maybe in a year or so, because it’s a “good” book (according to the majority of the world) so I feel like I should get through it.

      And sometimes I am more in the mood to read something than others. I just started Gulliver’s Travels, got 3 pages in, and decided to switch to Pride and Prejudice. But I’m going back to Gulliver’s Travels sometime before the end of December.

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