Let’s Chat: How Long Until You Officially Abandon A Book?

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We’ve all been there.  You start reading a book and aren’t immediately hooked.  Maybe it’s the plot, maybe it’s the characters, maybe it’s the writing style.  Whatever it is, you’re just not into it.  You keep reading, determined that your opinion will change…but sadly it does not.  Do you keep reading?  Do you close the cover and move on to a new book?  Do you keep that book on your nightstand for another 2 months “just in case” you decide to try it again?

I am a firm believer that there are WAY too many wonderful books out there to waste my time reading one that I’m not into.  With 2 young children, my reading window is small enough…why waste the time I do have on a book that I don’t care about? I used to feel so guilty when I would stop reading a book before I finished it.  Now I am in the mindset where my time is too valuable to waste it on something I don’t enjoy (this also just happens to be my mindest for life in general).

I have a rule for myself to give a book 100 pages before making any judgments. That allows time for characters to be introduced, background information to be shared, plots to take hold, etc.  If I make it to page 100 and I still don’t love it…good-bye.  Book closed, moving on.

There are absolutely exceptions to that rule.  There are times where I will push through…especially if a book has come highly recommended.  Rarely does a book turn itself around for me although it is quite exciting when it does!  I also have broken my rule going the other way and have stopped reading a book after only a few pages in.  Sometimes when you know…you just know 🙂

So tell me…what do you do?  Forge through or abandon ship?  How do you determine what’s best for you? Any books you almost abandoned after starting that turned out to be amazing? I would love to discuss in the comments!

18 thoughts on “Let’s Chat: How Long Until You Officially Abandon A Book?

  1. I posted this in my book club!

    I, too, feel so guilty when I don’t finish a book. BUT, like you said, ain’t nobody got time for that! I am a single working mom and every minute is precious. I’m not going to waste my time on a book I don’t enjoy. Since I do audible, I usually give it 2-3 hours. On average, the books I read are about 10 hours. If 1/4-1/3 of the way through, I’m not feeling it, I return the book and use my credit for a new one. LOVE AUDIBLE!!

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  2. I can tell pretty quick but it will stay on my nightstand for months before I admit it’s a lost cause. I have gone back a few times this way and found it different the second time around.

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      1. Leaving it there makes me feel guilty! I hide it, donate it, etc. on my kindle, I’m reminded that I’ve read a small percentage so I just ignore those.

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  3. If I’m not into the book after the first, second or third chapters, it’s back on the bookshelf! Finding a new home for the book is ideal though. I recently started to read, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and just could not get into it! I even had the second book in the series, The Girl Who Played with Fire. Both have new homes now. Maybe I can try watching the movie instead for this one.

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    1. Omg The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I tried SO hard to get into that book and truly hated every second. It is the only book that I have ever actually THROWN across the room out of frustration! I was maybe 100 pages or so in? People LOVE that book and I have no idea how…but I couldn’t bring myself to stick around to find out. Ugh.

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  4. I usually use a kindle and get books from the library a lot. You have three weeks to finish and if I like a book, it’s no problem, if I don’t the decision is made for me. I rarely have wanted or needed to go back and check the book out again. If I didn’t finish in three weeks I probably won’t anyway.

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  5. I don’t have a set rule for abandoning a book – it really just depends on my mood and the book. Generally, I finish most books I start, even if I just skim to the end. And sometimes, if I do stop reading, I might try it again another time – I’ve found several that I liked the second time around and was able to finish.

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