Sunday, February 8, 2009

All the way or just halfway?

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Do you guys finish every book you start or do you stop once you lose interest?

If you answered the former: Do you ever wonder if you're wasting your time waiting for a bad book to redeem itself when it ultimately doesn't?

If you answered the latter: Do you ever wonder if maybe, had you stuck it out longer, the book would've improved and you missed out on a great, great book?

Just testing out the dichotomy of disaster books. And, also, posting because it's been three days and a belly-up blog burdens me.

33 comments:

Saundra Mitchell said...

If I'm bored, I will abandon the book. I don't see the point in wasting time when I'm bored. But if the book is pissing me off? I will so finish, just so I can be justifiably and educatedly furious about it when I rant later. :D

Lenore said...

I rarely abandon books in the middle. But I often abandon them if I don't like the first few pages.

Diana Dang said...

I used to in the past. Quite often actually. Now that I have a blog, I force myself to read it, as boring as it may be.

sweetmelissa818 said...

It takes a lot to get me to stop reading a book flat out. Lately I've been doing it more, because I can't read them before they're due back to the library (in this case they're still on my definite reading list). There have been two definitely that I can think of that I made the conscious choice to stop and thay were Chocolat and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society I just couldn't get into them despite all the effort I gave it!

harmonybookreviews said...

I abandon books all the time. Recent ones I've abandoned include La Petite Four, Cheater, and Shelter Me. Sometimes, it's just because I'm not in the mood for the book so I'll go back to it later but if I don't think about it after I put it down, I'm done.

Kimberly Derting said...

I've finished books that I haven't liked just because someone convinced that once I "got into it" I would be glad I did. It's gone both ways. The Golden Compass was hard for me to get into, but after the first 75 pages, I couldn't put it down (so glad I endured!). The Black Tattoo...so sorry I kept going, the concept of Hell was cool, but other than that I felt like I'd lost hours of my life that I could never get back!

Bookworm said...

If I'm bored but the book is review, I continue on but I will mention this in my review. If it's just from the library, I'll put it down but try again later. Like Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott: I thought it was horrible at first but then discovered the middle to end was great! I'm glad I kept going. (:

Lana said...

I finish pretty much everything. It seems a bit silly to me because I can't think of a single book where I was annoyed or bored at the beginning and the book redeemed itself. But especially with train wrecks, I have to finish them so that I can happily forget all about them. If I don't finish, I always wonder what happened and the bad book stays with me longer.

Kelsey said...

I don't finish books when I'm bored. I try to stick out books, but I usually end up stopping. I also stop if the writings really bad. I always feel bad when I don't finish books, but if I can't stand it I stop and don't waste my time with it. But there's one book I feel I did waste my time with. It was really boring and there wasn't anything really to the plot and the characters sucked. That book is Where People Like Us Live by Patricia Cumbie. But, like Harmony, if I'm not in the mood, I'll go back to it, and if I don't think about it for awhile, I just won't get back to it.

The Ravenous Reader said...

For me, it depends. There can be a number of factors. If a book is seriously pissing me off, then yeah I will put it down and think about it a few days later and see if I can get back into it. I could be my state of mind at the time that I was reading that particular book...or that I truly did not like what was going on.

I am dealing with this issue right now. A much awaited ARC is in my possession and I cannot seem to get past a certain point. I keep putting it down and reading other books. I go back to it, but cannot read more than another page. It is bothering me...

I guess I am having one of those Joey Tribbiani "Put the book in the FREEZER phase"

madison said...

For me...

I finish everything. It's normally more a matter of how long it takes. If it's a book I don't like or aren't really into, I'll read it much more slowly. But I might read a chapter a week, and I'll definitely pick up something else.

Or maybe I'll read it quickly just to be done with it. As soon as I realized I wasn't enjoying In the Coils of the Snake, I raced through it, just so I could be done with it.

Even though I wanted to stop reading.

prophecygirl said...

I nearly always finish a book! I think I've only ever stopped reading two.

towerofbooks said...

I finish all the books I start. From past experience, I know that if I stop reading in the middle of a book, I will pick it up again.

Abby said...

I give a book 50-100 pages and I don't hesitate to put it down if it's not gripping me. Sometimes I'll pick it up again later and find that I love it.

The exceptions to this rule are books for the Cybils award (I tend to give them more of a chance and finish them unless they're really too terrible) and things like the Rebecca Caudill nominees which I've resolved to review on my blog. I feel like I kind of have a professional obligation to finish these books.

Sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised by a book that I "have" to finish, but usually I have SUCH a huge TBR list that it doesn't pain me at all to put down something I'm not enjoying.

H said...

Normally I have to finish any book I've started. If I really hate it, I'll leave it but usually if I reach a part I don't like/am getting bored, I'll just skip about 50 pages or so and carry on. It's all about reaching the end, tying everything up. Even if I don't actually care what happens.

Taylor said...

I always try to finish a book once I start it. If I don't I always have this nagging feeling that it was about to get better, although it usually doesn't. But ultimately, its only a few extra hours so it isn't too big of a waste.

Taylor

Anonymous said...

I love this blog.
I used to always finish any book I started and would feel guilty if I didn't. Now I realize life is too short and abandon some by page fifty if I find I'm bored. I like character-based books over plot, so if I find the main characters annoying I lose interest fast.

Erika Lynn said...

I always finish it even if i don't like it. Because when I am discussing it with someone who loves it I don't want them to be able to say well if you had just finished it...I want to be able to state definitively why I didn't like it. Down to the very last page.

Sarah MacLean said...

If I'm not into it by chapter 5...I'm out. Too many amazing books to read to waste time reading the boring ones!

erindionne said...

I rarely give up on a book--it takes a LOT for me to stop reading. Sadly, THE HISTORIAN was a major failure for me. I was about 350 pages into it and I just_didn't_care. And I didn't like the writing. So I bailed. And part of me still feels bad about that...

wrigleyfield said...

Like Lenore, I'll put a novel down early if it doesn't grab me, but I very rarely don't finish once I've gotten going.

I hated Vampire Academy, but I not only finished it, I sort of thought about reading the two sequels. I cannot explain this about myself. Although, considering my former longstanding addiction to the 7th Heaven recaps at Television Without Pity, it's not limited to books.

One I was having some trouble getting into, but am very glad I finished, is John Green's An Abundance of Katherines.

Liviania said...

I used to finish everything, but now I put a book down if I'm really bored with it, hate the characters, or think the book sucks. I don't have time to waste with bad books anymore.

Anonymous said...

Once I got into library school, I quit finishing everything. There are too many good books out there to waste time on the over-long or bad ones, and I no longer think of books as sacred. I read a lot of non-fiction, and an awful lot of them get overly long and detailed. So if I get bored 2/3 or the way through because it's going over the same ground again, I'll skim the rest and quit. Not ever novel is worth reading, and I'll drop it if I don't like it.

writerjenn said...

I almost always finish once I've started. Some books really turn around in the later pages, making me glad I persisted.

But there are a few books I've put down and never picked up again. I usually give the book at least one more chance, but if I can't make it the second time either, I put it aside. Life is too short and my TBR pile is too tall to force myself.

Mo from Unmainstream Mom Reads said...

I used to read every book to completion, even if I hated it. I figure now that life's too short to waste my time on a book I'm not enjoying. I abandoned 11 books last year, and 3 so far this year. Sometimes I wonder if the book got good after I stopped, but I guess I'm just not willing to slog through something horrible to find out. And besides, I've forced myself to finish awful books before in the hopes that they'd improve, and I've never ever had one actually be worth it in the end if it wasn't worth it 50-100 pages in.

Eli said...

I finish a book if I like it OR if it's bad and I hate it but I have something interesting to say about it.

Beth F said...

I try to give a book around 50 pages. If the story or the writing hasn't grabbed me, I usually let it go.

If the book is part of a series that has so far been good, I'll slog through the entire book.

Sometimes if I give a book a second chance a few weeks or months later, I am surprised to find that I like it. So I like to try twice before truly giving up.

Amee said...

I finish most books. It's rare for me to not finish a book. I have to really be either disgusted by the subject content or just not feel any investment in the characters or story. The latter has only happened a couple times with books sent for review (when I still reviewed).

I've skimmed books for review programs such as Pulse It (after the second self-help book, I was over it and not going to read it all the way through just to answer three questions for them).

I must admit to not often coming across books I just find so horrible I can't finish. I mostly only read what I know I like or will have a good shot at liking. I'm also not too picky either. So all that probably helps keep the number of unfinished books low.

Laina said...

I don't force myself to read books unless they're review books of some kind. I'm sorta the type to throw books across the room when they get really bad... bu I figure life's too short to read bad books.

Kathryn said...

I go by the fifty page rule - give it fifty pages, if I don't love it, give it up. If it's a book that's been highly recommended, I'll give it a hundred.

ellie_enchanted said...

I don't have any rule. If a book is just awful or boring, I'll probably give up on it. This happened with The Hobbit, though I'll probably try it again sometime. It was just -- *yawn*.

Also, you know those Weetzie Bat books that everyone seems to love? Well, I started the first one, and I hated it. I found the writing terrible and annoying. But whenever I think about it, I get this feeling that I missed something important, so I'll probably try that again, too.

Trisha said...

I used to finish every book I started. Not anymore. Now, I'm like Abby. There are some books I will finish because even if it's not working for me because, as a librarian or Cybils panelist, I feel I need to read the whole thing. But when I'm just reading for myself, I have no problem putting down a book if it is boring me or if I feel it's badly written.

bermudaonion said...

I haven't stopped reading a book in a long time, but have resolved to do it more this year.

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