Saturday, July 17, 2010

When do you throw in the towel?


I am currently reading a book that is HUGE, very buzz worthy, and most bloggers are raving about it. Yet, I am struggling to get through this massive tome and am only 1/3 of the way through. When do I throw in the towel? When do you make the decision to stop reading?

Normally if a book doesn't catch me in the first 100 pages, I call it quits. There are two exceptions to this rule: 1. the book is for book club and 2. I accepted the book for review. I feel that I need to make a concerted effort to read the novel a book club member picked out because I would want them to make the same effort for a book I chose. With review books, I feel they should be read cover to cover because I made a commitment to read and review a particular novel.

When do you say enough is enough? Do you have any reading rules?

9 comments:

Rebecca said...

Great question. I will usually try to see the book to the end. I try my hardest to give the book the benefit of the doubt...even though i know it has no feelings, lol. I say if its dragging you down from even wanting to read, to put it aside and move on to something else. I average 3-4 books a week and got stuck on a series a few weeks ago that i really wanted to be good. I ended up taking a few days off from reading, the series put me in such a foul mood!

christina said...

This is such a tough question! I mean, generally I try to finish a book. *But* if it is that huge and I know that it will take away from my other reading pleasures I would have to quit it.

Hmmmm....maybe you can skim a good part of it?

Nikki-ann said...

I have no fast rules, but do try to push through if I've heard good things about the book. Sometimes it's just a chapter or two that can be slow/hard going, but if the whole book seems to be that way then maybe it is time to stop reading.

bookfanmary said...

I think 100 pages is a fair amount. There are just too many books out there that will grab you within the first few pages to struggle with one that hasn't got hold of you by page 100. Maybe put it away for a while and revisit a few months from now. You may feel completely different about it. Good luck.

Melissa (Betty and Boo's Mommy) said...

My .02 on sale: I think 100 pages is more than sufficient. That's generally my benchmark too, depending on the amount of pages in the book.

Life is too short to read books we're not crazy about.

Icedream said...

I agree with you on book club and review books. On my own time I used to force myself to finish a book but not anymore. Now I go by Nancy Pearl's "Rule of 50". It sounds like you've given it a fair go.

Literary Feline said...

I don't give up on books often as I've run into too many instances where I've considered putting down a book only to be grabbed by it soon after and then ended up loving it. Usually when I do give up on a book, it's because I'm bored to tears and just don't care about the characters or what will happen. Other times it may be because I'm having trouble getting into a book because it's just bad timing. In that case, I often will set the book aside to come back to when I'm more in the mood for it.

Jess said...

Thanks for all of your comments and advice!

I took the weekend off and will try to read some more this week. It's starting to get interesting... I will keep you updated!

Sue Jackson said...

Ah...The Passage, right? I've heard this a lot - everyone says to stick with it and you won't regret it (most say you need to get PAST the first third to get into it, so you should be close).

I rarely put a book down, but I do sometimes. I was struggling through one for book group last winter and was relieved when I was too sick to go and could set it aside without guilt!

Sue