I used to finish every book I started reading. Even if I didn’t like it, even if I was bored, I would push through. I guess it was the Type A in me.
But times have changed. As I’ve grown older I’ve realized that life is too short to read something I’m not enjoying! There are too many books out there, and my TBR list is too unwieldy, to waste time like that.
Now, I give a book the first 30-50 pages to hook me. (I know agents and editors will give a manuscript much less–like 3 pages, tops.) If I’m not into it at that point, I set it aside. There are lots of reasons why I might put a book down. Maybe I’m not connecting with the characters or feeling intrigued by the plot. Perhaps the writing style isn’t my cup of tea.
I would never call something a “bad book”, by the way–I kind of have a problem with that concept. What one person loves is the exact thing someone else loathes. Everyone has different tastes. As a friend and fellow author said to me once: some people don’t even like bacon.
So how often do people abandon books? On Goodreads, my favorite online community for bookish types, they tried to break the phenomenon down.
They created this nifty infographic with their findings on the subject, including which books are shelved as “did not finish” the most often (classics and modern bestsellers) and the common reasons people cite for putting a book down.
So how about you? Do you finish every book you start? Or do you give up if it’s not doing it for you?