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Archives > How many pages do you have to read of a book that you really hate?

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message 1: by Dean (new)

Dean MacAllister (deanmacallister) The sweat is pouring down your face. Your hear-rate is up and you keep looking at the clock. Surely this book has to get better....doesn't it? How much further should I go before I just give up?

How far into a book that you are hating should you read? How many pages do you have to finish, just so that you can say you gave it a fair go?

I encourage nastiness and bluntness in this forum.


message 2: by Meagan (new)

Meagan | 280 comments I think you should read around 70 pages after it gets really boring and if it doesn't get better just stop. Thats my philosophy. I've only had to do that to two books though.


message 3: by Sydney (new)

Sydney Wallace | 75 comments Usually I'll give it at least three chapters if the chapters aren't too long.


message 4: by Yzabel (new)

Yzabel Ginsberg (yzabelginsberg) | 247 comments I give it about 25%. After that, if really I can't go on, I stop bothering.


message 5: by A.L. (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 240 comments 2 of 3 chapters, unless it is truly terrible. Some books are slow to start but I usually know by the end of the 3rd chapter whether I want to continue.


message 6: by Jon (new)

Jon (jon17) | 4 comments Dean wrote: "I encourage nastiness and bluntness in this forum."

FINISH IT!


message 7: by A.L. (new)

A.L. Butcher (alb2012) | 240 comments Lol.

I don't often find a book I can't finish. I did find one recently but I may well come back to that. I don't think I am in the right frame of mind for it.

I have started books, put them aside then read them later and enjoyed them.


message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Yzabel wrote: "I give it about 25%. After that, if really I can't go on, I stop bothering."

I agree. I find that unless the style is truly gobsmackingly horrendously bad, one ought to give a book about 15-30% to improve, depending of course on quality. If it remains utterly dull or eye-blisteringly awful by the time you have taken a good bite out of it, it's worth being crapped upon or given a fair but poor review. I have certainly done it, though I do try to write kind, useful, professional reviews.


message 9: by Emily (last edited Mar 17, 2013 04:09AM) (new)

Emily (emkathh) I hate not finishing books, so usually I finish them even though they're bad, and then just not buy the rest of the series (I rarely read stand-alone). But if a book is so bad I don't have any hopes for it at all, I usually have to read at least half of it, cause it is usually in the middle all the good stuff is. And if there is no good stuff in the middle I won't bother.


message 10: by Eliza (last edited Mar 17, 2013 04:18AM) (new)

Eliza Green I would always give a book 100 pages before I give up. If it's not getting into the story at that point, then it probably won't ever.


message 11: by Sheri, Bookworm (new)

Sheri | 12336 comments Mod
I always finish every book I start...I can't stand not knowing the ending. Plus if it's bad I always think it's bound to get better (it doesn't always). However, when I do come across a book I don't particulary care for, I do find myself skimming a lot rather than seriously reading.


message 12: by Victoria (new)

Victoria Pearson I usually read all of a book even if I am not enjoying it. I'm not sure if that is because I am giving the story a chance to get better or if I just can't stand the nagging feeling of an unfinished story. I do start an active grump commentary about a quarter of the way through though; "As if that would happen!" "Oh yeah, she'd say that!" etc. Hubs says he suspects I enjoy getting cross with books I don't like.


message 13: by Yakara (new)

Yakara For me the answer really depends on why I don't like it.

If I don't like the story-line, I read it all the way through. There are too many books that start out slow and get better as you trudge your way through.

If I don't like an author's style, I read until I just can't anymore. This has, in some instances, been me physically not being able to concentrate on the book because it's so badly written. In other cases, I will find myself so distracted by the writing style that I am not following the story.

In all situations I retry the book in a year or two. I've found that my place in life affects my taste in books. A book I couldn't get into 5 years ago can end up being a favorite now.


message 14: by Stan (new)

Stan Morris (morriss003) There are some really tolerant posters here. Ten pages in some cases. And I agree about retrying a story later. I hater the Hobbit at 18 and love it at 23.


message 15: by Erin (last edited Mar 17, 2013 10:52AM) (new)

Erin Latimer I'm one of those strange people that feels bad about not finishing a book, no matter how terrible it is.

Although, there was one I recently put down because it was just...so...boring....

I was falling asleep because the characters were flat and I just DIDN'T care about the main character. She could have got run over and died and I would have yawned. She just wasn't real.

Books that have plot problems, but the characters are still real...those I'll try to finish.


message 16: by Shahbaz (last edited Mar 17, 2013 11:24AM) (new)

Shahbaz (abelisii) | 163 comments I haven't met a book yet that I just couldn't finish it, I have had some that completely tortured my vision as I read the words...yes I think my eyes may have started bleeding.

But I have to finish them, maybe I wont complete the series if its part of one, but I will finish the one I started.


message 17: by Richard (new)

Richard (amazoncomauthorricharddparker) | 183 comments I've only stopped reading one book in my life...and I still have it. It nags at me in the dark of night. "Read me. Read me. Read me." Maybe someday I will, just to shut it up.


message 18: by Sheri, Bookworm (new)

Sheri | 12336 comments Mod
Richard wrote: "I've only stopped reading one book in my life...and I still have it. It nags at me in the dark of night. "Read me. Read me. Read me." Maybe someday I will, just to shut it up."

Lol! That's how I am. I hate leaving anything unfinished :)


message 19: by Elle (last edited Mar 17, 2013 01:54PM) (new)

Elle (louiselesley) I've been known to give up within 10pages. I think it really depends on the book and the reasons I am not enjoying it. If it is the writing I give up way quicker. The characters - slightly less quick. The storyline? I try to persevere.

Too many books to waste time on bad ones


message 20: by Tasha (new)

Tasha Turner (tashaturner) | 116 comments I think I've only not finished 2 books so far. Most of the time no matter how bad I read to the end... That is slowly changing with the kindle as I pause reading the book with the intention of getting back to it but with almost 2500 books... Yeah I may need to start a shelf to keep track of books I didn't finish and notes on why.


message 21: by AlanCummingFan (new)

AlanCummingFan    (Morgona505) | 44 comments I always finish what I start it just takes me a wile


message 22: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline Patricks (jacquelinepatricks) | 62 comments I know within the first paragraphs if I like the author's style/writing ability/editing. If I do I'll continue reading.

I know within the first page or two if the story grabs me. If so than I'll continue reading.

I know within 50 pages (or 1-2 chapters with Ebooks) if a story or an author's style is a good fit or is continuing to interest.

If I make to the last hurdle and I still liking or even loving the book than I'll definitely keep reading. If I the above doesn't work than I don't continue unless I've promised to do so for the author. The few times I've forced myself to read past the above limits, I've hated hated the book and realized my initial impression was correct.

But then I've been writing nearly as long as I've been reading, so I have a very clear vision of what I like and don't like.

And if I don't finish a book I don't rate it.

If I hate a book (which is rare since I don't often pick books I dislike so much) I don't necessarily have the need to rate it. Or ones I love for that matter.

So of depends on my mood, lol!


message 23: by Evan (new)

Evan Geller (keysersoze) | 5 comments NO, NO, NO! People, please! Finish a book you hate after page 100? Are you trying to atone for telling your daughter that the dog is 'much happier now that he's living on a farm?' Unless you're doing 10-20 for armed robbery, LIFE'S TOO SHORT! A good writer spends more time on the first sentence than he spends writing the whole first chapter. If you, Dear Reader, are not experiencing rapturous joy by the end of page one, if you don't feel an irresistible impulse to turn to page two RIGHT NOW without taking a moment to breathe, then DON'T. Put it down, delete, move on. Life is too short, way too short to read bad stuff unless you're reading this post from your junior high detention. Even then, don't. Similar ranting goes on (and on) at goodreads blog post on this subject: THE GOAT RODEO. Namaste


message 24: by 爱心❤ (new)

爱心❤ | 256 comments As a rule, I finish the whole book, no matter how it sucks. this doesn't count if I'm picking up a book and reading the first chapter to see what it's like. If I'm actually reading it, I finish it, although it's tempting to put them down sometimes...


message 25: by R.L. (new)

R.L. Stedman Haha, there's no rule. but I agree with Evan; if its not good on the first page, probably not going to get much better. Although that's not always a rule - sometimes it might start to shine in chapter three.

The middle part of a novel is the worst; I reckon that's crunch time. all the exciting hook stuff has gone and now its pure character development, and if the characters are one-dimensional and boring, then there's just no remedy.

If you don't like it, will you finish the novel, regardless?


message 26: by 爱心❤ (new)

爱心❤ | 256 comments Yes. There has only ever been one exception, and I don't remember it so it no longer counts. lol


message 27: by Vardan (new)

Vardan Partamyan (vardanpartamyan) | 201 comments I finish the book no matter what. Even if I hate it utterly I am just that kind of person: have.to.finish.it. and then forget it as fast as I can...now the good thing is that I am very picky about the books I read so I usually don't end up with crap but that crap does indeed happen sometimes and you just have to persevere.


message 28: by R.L. (new)

R.L. Stedman Wow, you are all real dedicated readers. Well done! I hav gotten lazier as time got tighter - but I've never stopped reading a book, just haven't finished it - yet.


message 29: by Vardan (new)

Vardan Partamyan (vardanpartamyan) | 201 comments It took me three tries to finally get to read and finish the Master and Margarita by Mikhayil Bulgakov but it ended up being one of my favorite books :)


message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

If I feel like I can finish - I have to.
But if the writing is truly terrible - I have no idea what's going on - or it will take me longer than a week to finish - I will dnf.
With some books I will give up and try again - sometimes it's mood and not book.


message 31: by Vardan (new)

Vardan Partamyan (vardanpartamyan) | 201 comments Traci L. wrote: "If I feel like I can finish - I have to.
But if the writing is truly terrible - I have no idea what's going on - or it will take me longer than a week to finish - I will dnf.
With some books I will..."


for me that mood not book novel was Tommyknockers by Stephen King which just didn't get me going until like the fourth time and then I loved it. The ending scene of the book is one of the best I have read.


message 32: by Elle (new)

Elle (louiselesley) I do not understand why people waste precious time on books they hate. You guys clearly have a lot more free time than I do!!!!!!


Tammy ~Witching Hour Reads~ (03tammy-lynn) | 1358 comments I have to see it through to the end, I have a little guy in school and I don't want him to see me abandon something because I don't like it, because I know one day he will have to read something he dislikes. I need to set an example.


message 34: by Elle (new)

Elle (louiselesley) Ah. See I read on a Kindle and if I didn't the young'uns wouldn't be allowed to see what I read!!!


message 35: by Tasha (new)

Tasha Turner (tashaturner) | 116 comments Sometimes the boos I hate give me more to talk about than the ones I loved. And they also help me know what not to do in my own writing. And ... And... And... prior to my kindle I was less likely to stop reading a book when I was partway through. Now I know my place will be saved and I can give it another try another day to see if it was my mood or if the book is really bad. I also read a number of books all the way through that all my friends loved trying to figure out what they liked about it and how they missed the sexism, rapes, bad writing, bigoted attitudes... I mean if its a best seller and is mostly 4 & 5 star reviews there must be some redeeming stuff in it somewhere... Yes under my reading theory I would follow the other lemmings right off the cliff. LOL


message 36: by Duks (new)

Duks (cnduks_) | 1836 comments I'll go 75 pages, but if I have nothing line up next, then I'll torture myself and keep reading....


message 37: by Sheri, Bookworm (new)

Sheri | 12336 comments Mod
Louise-Lesley (Elle) wrote: "I do not understand why people waste precious time on books they hate. You guys clearly have a lot more free time than I do!!!!!!"

Call it OCD. I can't leave it not finished or it will haunt me.


message 38: by Lys (new)

Lys (lysrowan) Sheri wrote: "Louise-Lesley (Elle) wrote: "I do not understand why people waste precious time on books they hate. You guys clearly have a lot more free time than I do!!!!!!"

Call it OCD. I can't leave it not f..."

I'm the same way. It might take a while, but I will finish it.


message 39: by Laura (new)

Laura Thomas (laurathomas) | 565 comments I usually finish it, even if I have to kick myself. May set it aside a few times, but eventually I persevere.


message 40: by Dean (new)

Dean MacAllister (deanmacallister) Emily wrote: "I hate not finishing books, so usually I finish them even though they're bad, and then just not buy the rest of the series (I rarely read stand-alone). But if a book is so bad I don't have any hope..."

I'm the opposite. I will very rarely read a series unless I am certain that I want to make that kind of commitment. How many times I have gotten most of the way into a book before I realised that I have been hooked into a series and was reading the second or third novel in the series first! Some series take months to read, thats a long time to lock in.


message 41: by Dean (new)

Dean MacAllister (deanmacallister) Evan wrote: "NO, NO, NO! People, please! Finish a book you hate after page 100? Are you trying to atone for telling your daughter that the dog is 'much happier now that he's living on a farm?' Unless you're..."

Nice one bud. Life IS too short for pity-reading.


message 42: by Sasha (new)

Sasha (sashamv) Typically, I read the whole thing- and sometimes they do get better, like Dune (but probably won't read the sequels).

But I've been getting better. Usually, it depends on my mood. One book I quit after the first 5-10 pages (Amped). It was too inconsistent too early. Another book I gave 60 (Elemental? I forget) pages because the prologue was so good, but it never picked up.

This last book (Prodigy by Dave Kalstein)I hated, but read all the way through. Why? Because the author tricked me! He started with some action, went into some back story and I was a third of the way through when I noticed some inconsistencies here and there, but I continued. It wasn't until I was halfway through that I realized how AWFUL is was, but my then, it was too late...


message 43: by Stan (new)

Stan Morris (morriss003) For those of you who have to finish a book, I'm curious to know whether you continue to watch TV series that you don't like that much. My wife is like that.


message 44: by Tasha (new)

Tasha Turner (tashaturner) | 116 comments TV is usually background for me so I have an easier time dropping a TV show.


message 45: by Addict's (new)

Addict's Book | 15 comments 爱心❤ wrote: "As a rule, I finish the whole book, no matter how it sucks. this doesn't count if I'm picking up a book and reading the first chapter to see what it's like. If I'm actually reading it, I finish it,..."

Me too. I think it's some kind of OCD. I hate it. But I'm perpetual optimist and I always hope that after this page it will get better. I can count on the fingers of one hand books that I couldn't finish. And they were really bad.


message 46: by [deleted user] (new)

No. I can drop a tv show. A movie? No. Usually have to finish. Tv shows are too much of a commitment. I might watch a few more episodes to make sure. Or watch one in another season. But usually? No. I still haven't seen the last episode of Heroes.


message 47: by Carrie (last edited Mar 20, 2013 12:54PM) (new)

Carrie  (icanhasbooks) | 291 comments There was a time when I would think, I must finish this, I really feel bad when I don't finish a book and I have forced myself to read it all. But life is short and I have way to many books that I want to read, not counting those that have not been published heck or even thought of and written. The only time I don't give up is when it's a book for a challenge and I don't have another one to read instead.

When do I give up?
I don't have a set number of pages, if it gets to the point that I put it down for a break to read other books at least 3 or so times this is not counting a put down due to review deadline but because I would rather read the phone book while watching paint dry.

That being said I have still found myself finishing some craptastic books in the hopes that it will get better.


message 48: by Elle (new)

Elle (louiselesley) o.O

I must say that has never been a symptom of my (actual diagnosed) OCD.


message 49: by Kriscinda (new)

Kriscinda Everitt (kleveritt) I read until I can't. Could be crap writing or a crap story. Could be three pages; could be until the end. The way I look at it, it's not up to me; it's up to the writer/author.


message 50: by [deleted user] (new)

I've had a few books go from hated ones to favorite ones. And I'm usually at least curious how a book ends. If I have absolutely no interest in a book I can and will quit it.


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