Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy discussion

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General Discussion > Why the Need to finish EVERY book?

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message 1: by Leandra (new)

Leandra Azer (azerjaban) | 68 comments Why do we force ourselves to finish books we don't like? When was the last you hated 90% of a book said "Oh that last chapter really made it all worth it"

Why when there are so many more books to read do we make ourselves suffer?

I have literally thrown a book across the room in the past, only to pick it right back up.

... I don't understand this compulsion...


message 2: by Anne (new)

Anne Berkeley (aberkeley) I always finish what I'm reading. I can't help it. It literally is a compulsion. I just finished The Passage, but in this case, I'm glad I finished. The ending really picked up, at which point I couldn't put it down. For me, I guess the compulsion is to see the end, even if I don't like the characters, the story line or the style of writing.


message 3: by Sandra J (new)

Sandra J Weaver (sandraweaver) | 451 comments I usually give a book one chapter to convince me to keep reading. If I don't like it (and this is often the character since the plot isn't usually underway yet), it's a DNF. I may or may not read the ending depending on whether or not I gave a darn about the character, but I have no problem not finishing. There are too many other books to read to waste my time on something that doesn't work for me.


message 4: by Leandra (new)

Leandra Azer (azerjaban) | 68 comments Good policy on the not wasting your time thing Sandra (congrats on beating the compulsion), but ONE chapter? I can think of many books that were amazing but didn't have the best first chapter.

My friend has a 5 chapter policy to convince her to keep reading, I think that's giving the book a fair chance.

My policy is apparently 40 chapters...


message 5: by Oleander (new)

Oleander | 92 comments I'm with Sandra. If the first chapter doesn't grab me then it's out, unless it is part of a series in progress. Then I usually feel compelled to read on. If I hate it, then the series will end with that book for me. That has only happened once or twice for me. If I only think it was weak, I'll still continue the series.


message 6: by Sandra J (last edited Aug 31, 2013 11:06AM) (new)

Sandra J Weaver (sandraweaver) | 451 comments Usually the first chapter is enough to tell whether the main character will get on my last nerve. This is especially true of first person POV narrators. If I'm not sure, I'll give the book the benefit of the doubt and another chapter or two to hook me into the story. I also have no problem bailing on a series midstream. There's no pleasure in forcing myself to read something that's grating my nerves. Thank heaven, I' m long past high school (and college) and required reading lists!


Paganalexandria  | 238 comments azerjaban wrote: "Why do we force ourselves to finish books we don't like? When was the last you hated 90% of a book said "Oh that last chapter really made it all worth it"

Why when there are so many more books to..."


Azerjaban, for me it's equal parts masochism and what I term reading-OCD. What really drives me crazy is getting stuck in a bad series and suffering through the next book just to find out what happened. That was my experience with

This Man (This Man, #1) by Jodi Ellen Malpas Beneath This Man (This Man, #2) by Jodi Ellen Malpas This Man Confessed (This Man, #3) by Jodi Ellen Malpas . I had issues with the heroine but got into the storyline of the first one, my unlike went up a notch by book two, and it bloomed into full on hatred by book three but had to finish it.


Mlpmom (Book Reviewer) (mlpmombookreviewer) | 839 comments I use to finish all of the books I started as well but now, as a blogger, I just can't. I do give the book a good chunk of my time before I call it quits though and will even skim through some of it afterwards but yeah, there are just too many other great books out there to waste my time reading something I am not enjoying. I read for enjoyment, so why read if I am not happy about it. It just doesn't make sense to me to torture myself like that.


message 9: by Delta (last edited Aug 31, 2013 02:33PM) (new)

Delta (_delta) | 18 comments Paganalexandria wrote: "for me it's equal parts masochism and what I term reading-OCD. What really drives me crazy is getting stuck in a bad series and suffering through the next book just to find out what happened..."

And I thought I was the only one with the secret compulsion to finish a horrible series (Reading OCD--I can relate!) because I liked some of the characters even though the plot may be ridiculous and the writing truly awful.

Also, I think it is somewhat unfair for people to rate and review a book unless they read the entire book. Readers' ratings can impact the livelihood of authors.


message 10: by Paganalexandria (last edited Aug 31, 2013 01:21PM) (new)

Paganalexandria  | 238 comments Delta wrote: "Paganalexandria wrote: "for me it's equal parts masochism and what I term reading-OCD. What really drives me crazy is getting stuck in a bad series and suffering through the next book just to find ..."


Delta, my compulsion to finish a bad novel makes a book being designated DNF an indictment in itself. Out of over 800 rated book, I only have 8 DNF's. I gave them all the college try and they were rated and reviewed accordingly. I think if a book is so bad that I couldn't finish it; then it becomes my Goodreads duty to warn others. My review will clarify if it was just bad writing or if the subject matter was just out of my comfort zone.


message 11: by Jacquel (new)

Jacquel (clairevioletthorpe) | 127 comments If I don't finish the book, then I feel pretty bad about not finishing the book.PLus, if my friend read a book that they liked and I never finished the book, I might hurt their feelings.


Mlpmom (Book Reviewer) (mlpmombookreviewer) | 839 comments Jacquel wrote: "If I don't finish the book, then I feel pretty bad about not finishing the book.PLus, if my friend read a book that they liked and I never finished the book, I might hurt their feelings."
I would never be mad at someone for not finishing or liking a book I did. That would seem kind of silly because we all have different tastes and what appeals to one person may not appeal to another even if we have had similar tastes in books before. That is the beauty of being an individual. ;)


message 13: by Delta (last edited Aug 31, 2013 02:45PM) (new)

Delta (_delta) | 18 comments Paganalexandria wrote: "my compulsion to finish a bad novel makes a book being designated DNF an indictment in itself...."

I agree that designating a book DNF speaks volumes about a book's shortcomings. Perhaps I stated my position against rating/reviewing unfished books a little strongly. It was not my intent to insult or offend you or anyone else (edited that post and toned it down).


Paganalexandria  | 238 comments Delta wrote: "Paganalexandria wrote: "my compulsion to finish a bad novel makes a book being designated DNF an indictment in itself...."

I agree that designating a book DNF speaks volumes about a book's shortco..."


No worries, Delta. I reacted strongly due to all the over top claims of "author bullying" lately. I totally get what your original post meant. Every time I see a comment about only reviewing books fully read, my fingers are compelled to offer my unnecessary two cents on the subject. LOL


message 15: by Leandra (new)

Leandra Azer (azerjaban) | 68 comments That'd exactly how I used to feel! I'd feel guilty for not finishing the book, like I couldn't review it unless I completed >80%, then I would be a combo of pissed off and irritated in having to finish it, and the review would be scathing.

So I guess nobody wins, not the reader or the author. At least stopping earlier allows me to review with a clear mind (by the end it's usually *expletive this and *expletive that)

It's different with series though, especially of the first book was good, I struggle through the 2nd. Luckily this paid off in Nalani Singhs Psy-Changling series. I HATED the second book, but if I hadn't read on our wouldn't have loved books 3-12.


message 16: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 449 comments If I don't like a book within the first 50 - 60 pages I'll stop reading it. I don't have enough time to spend it reading something I'm not enjoying.


message 17: by Tyhitia (last edited Aug 31, 2013 07:22PM) (new)

Tyhitia | 54 comments I always finish a book I've started reading. Recently, I decided to not finish a book if I didn't like it, but my compulsion to finish it is still there and I have to finish it, no matter what. Grrr. Lol.


message 18: by Rinou (new)

Rinou | 44 comments I guess I'm a masochist too, I finish every book I begin, even if I read others in the same time. I want to know what happens in the end, and not by jumping to the last chapter. I think I need to finish so I can tell wittingly why I didn't like it.


message 19: by Steelwhisper (new)

Steelwhisper | 140 comments 2-3 chapters I'll invest, but if I haven't caught fire by then, I'll ditch it. Time is of the essence.


message 20: by LibraryLass (new)

LibraryLass | 81 comments I usually give a book 50-60 pages to grab me. If it doesn't, I put it aside but I never rate these ones. Often it is a mood thing rather than the quality of the writing.

As I only reluctantly read first POV, I must connect with them, otherwise it is a definite DNF - again I don't rate them.

However, there have been 4 books (I know, even with my long life of reading, I can count them!) that I have been over 50% through and ended up not finishing. This is mostly because of the writing - I don't go back to these authors either. I don't rate these, but I do place 'comments'. I really think it is unfair to rate books that you never finish as it just may not be my cuppa tea.

Other than the compulsion to finish books I might not even enjoy, I also have had to TRAIN myself to close a book and not read all night. I used to have to finish a book I started no matter what time of night. Now I 'save' the books I want to read in one-hit for my Sunday reads.


message 21: by Leandra (new)

Leandra Azer (azerjaban) | 68 comments I watch alot of Asian dramas, and when I end up with one that I don't want to waste hours watching but REALLY want to know the ending. I look up these wonderful things called recaps. Where some lovely blogger has gone through and summarized the drama for me with enough fleshed out to make me feel like I watched it.

...now if only there was that for books


message 22: by Leandra (new)

Leandra Azer (azerjaban) | 68 comments Tyhitia wrote: "I always finish a book I've started reading. Recently, I decided to not finish a book if I didn't like it, but my compulsion to finish it is still there and I have to finish it, no matter what. Grr..."


LOL Resist Thyitia!!Resist!


message 23: by Steelwhisper (new)

Steelwhisper | 140 comments LibraryLass wrote: "If it doesn't, I put it aside but I never rate these ones...."

I have no problem with people doing this, and I do so myself. I don't subscribe to you having to read a whole book to state what you think or rate it. As long as you give it a good shot, one's ability to read or not read it through is always also a valid thing. In the end every take on a book is at least partially a mood thing.


message 24: by LibraryLass (new)

LibraryLass | 81 comments True Steelwhisper, I never thought of it like that. I am definitely a mood reader - the hard part is deciding what I am in the 'mood' for, LOL!


message 25: by Leandra (last edited Sep 01, 2013 01:17AM) (new)

Leandra Azer (azerjaban) | 68 comments ...I am definitely a mood reader - the hard part is deciding what I am in the 'mood' for!"


I thinks that's another reason I force myself to finish a book. I tell myself: "So what if you were not in the mood for vampires? You started a vampire book so don't punish the book"

And sometimes I eventually DO get into the mood, and the book becomes a much better read.

All symptoms of Reading OCD I'm sure.


Lisa - (Aussie Girl) | 407 comments Oh, how I wish I could NOT finish a book. It is definitely a compulsion. Even if I have lost interest in a book I finish it a bit at a time while reading something more interesting.

The only book I started and didn't finish in my memory is Wolf Hall which is embarrassing because it was a highly awarded book (Booker Prize). A friend mentioned she wanted to read it and borrowed it and never returned it... (I wasn't that sorry, LOL)


message 27: by Leandra (new)

Leandra Azer (azerjaban) | 68 comments Lisa - (Aussie Girl) wrote: "... Even if I have lost interest in a book I finish it a bit at a time while reading something more interesting..."

LOL that is EXACTLY what I do! I read a chapter or two (Usually thats all I can stomach) between other books.

And then on the other hand I give a movie 5 minutes to catch my interest before changing the channel...


message 28: by Oleander (new)

Oleander | 92 comments I usually do get in the mood for a book once I start it if its good. Other than reading a series consecutively, I am very careful not to read the same types of books back to back. Something dark will be followed by something light, a uf by a time travel, a vampire by a historical or contemporary. Mixing it up keeps me from getting bored or burned out, and is also part of that Reading OCD....I want it all!


message 29: by C.C. (new)

C.C. | 219 comments azerjaban wrote: "Why do we force ourselves to finish books we don't like? When was the last you hated 90% of a book said "Oh that last chapter really made it all worth it"

Why when there are so many more books to..."


I understand exactly how you feel. There are books and series that I hated but forced myself to finish or to read the next installment. I always end up telling myself that I should give the book a fair chance by finishing it, or maybe the next installment in the series would be better than the first. But mainly, I just don't like leaving it unfinished.


message 30: by Leandra (new)

Leandra Azer (azerjaban) | 68 comments Wow, the Wall Street Journal even did an article on this, Guilt Complex: Why Leaving a Book Half-Read Is So Hard
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001...

Here's a quote:

"Certain types of people are more likely to push through a book. Dr. Wilhelm theorizes that people with competitive, Type-A personalities might be more likely to abandon a book because they tend to be motivated by reward and punishment, and "if there are no consequences or public recognition, why finish?"


That's not true, I'm type A and I have chronic Book OCD syndrome.


message 31: by Sandra J (new)

Sandra J Weaver (sandraweaver) | 451 comments I certainly don't feel a compulsion to finish anything. I need to be enthralled by the book I'm reading because I have reading ADD. Too many other "shiny" things in the TBR calling for my attention! I'm that way about buying beads, too. Bead shows can be a disaster for my budget because every booth has something I find hard to resist.


Danielle (~Dani~) (danibear579) | 75 comments LOL Sandra! That is so funny... I was just on another thread saying the same thing- I have book ADD! I thought it was the books for awhile, but...maybe I'm kinda in denial? Currently reading 14 books & don't think it'll be going down anytime soon :( I agree with you totally, there are way too many shiny new books out there! Need one that captures my attention from the beginning & can't put down...still looking.


message 33: by Sandra J (new)

Sandra J Weaver (sandraweaver) | 451 comments Yep. That's book ADD, alright. I have at least 7 or 8 started (and we won't mention the dozens that have gone by the wayside-or to the bottom of the pile). Then there are the two or three that are in some stage of rereading depending on my mood and how much time I've got. It's a wonder I finish anything.


message 34: by Tracy T. (new)

Tracy T. | 252 comments I used to be this way. Then one day, something clicked in me and I realized that I should always enjoy what I'm reading There are too many books I want to read and very little time.

I know I have an addictive personality, and I really think that it played a role in me always having to finish books. I think its also the reason I always have at least 5 books going at one time.


message 35: by Joseph (new)

Joseph  (bluemanticore) | 216 comments I've come to the realization that so often I'm halfway through a book before I know it that if I'm not into a book by the time I'm a third through it then I'm not going to waste any more time on it, there are too many better books out there I could be reading.


message 36: by Sharmila (new)

Sharmila | 18 comments I agree with the whole ADD issue, yup that's me! Lol I tend to put books down when I'm just not in the mood for it or at the time just not grabbing me. But I do go back and finish. Its like saying good bye to a bad relationship. I feel like I didn't give it my all and want a clean break. LMBO

At the moment I have like 5 bad "relationships" I need to break off. Lol but I have to finish. I can never leave a book unread for to long. That's my OCD in me! :.)


message 37: by Leandra (new)

Leandra Azer (azerjaban) | 68 comments I feel like if I don't finish a book I've somehow failed as a reader...


message 38: by Jenna (new)

Jenna | 37 comments Books are just so good that if I don't read I won't stop thinking about it. And I will never do any thing because I have to read.


message 39: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Jackson (paperbackdiva) | 76 comments Jenna wrote: "Books are just so good that if I don't read I won't stop thinking about it. And I will never do any thing because I have to read."
But what happens when the book is bad? I think that's where folks struggle with finishing.


message 40: by Leandra (new)

Leandra Azer (azerjaban) | 68 comments Then I think there's the same problem I think Andrea, we can't stop thinking about it even if it's bad. And we tell ourselves it can't be as bad as we imagined-otherwise it wouldn't have gotten good reviews right?


message 41: by Jenna (new)

Jenna | 37 comments Yeh even if it is bad I still. Have to know what's going to happen. Or I will go crazy


texxie-PRUFreads.blogspot.com (prufreadsblogspotcom) | 198 comments I used to finish a book nomatter what. Now, not so much. As a blogger, if an author provides me with an ARC, then yes I feel I owe them that even if it's a difficult task. If it's a book I chose on my own, as a "kindle'er", I give it anywhere from 25%-50%, depending on just how bad it is. lol


message 43: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Jackson (paperbackdiva) | 76 comments I can skip around. I usually start skipping around page 20 or so if it's not good. I read a paragraph here and there and if it doesn't get better, I can finish without feeling like I've wasted my time. lol! It has to be a really good book to keep me reading the book or else I'll reread it.


message 44: by Amber (new)

Amber Forbes (thedancingwriter) | 12 comments I try to finish every single book I start, especially if it's a book I've bought, but sometimes it's just near impossible to do that. Sometimes the book is just too slow for me or sometimes the book's ending begins to drag and I don't care to know how the book ends, even if it's a series I've been following for a while.


message 45: by Kit (new)

Kit Cole | 2 comments There is only one book I can remember not actually being able to finish (because I am like Amber in that I just like to finish) and it is (don't lynch me please!) A Canticle for Leibowitz.


message 46: by Leandra (new)

Leandra Azer (azerjaban) | 68 comments Lol, no lynching required Kit. I had the same problem with that book, but I forced myself to finish it.

Book OCD just happened to me with "The Mating". I hated, HATED that book and everything about it, but I HAD to know what happens


message 47: by Anne (new)

Anne Berkeley (aberkeley) What is it about the ones that you don't want to finish. Is it poor writing, slow pace, or just a sucky plot? ( or all the above?) for me it's usually the pace of the novel. I don't need or want one page that describes the color of the sky. On occasion it the writing style, but if the pace is slow, I end up skimming.


message 48: by Nerissa (new)

Nerissa (riss253) | 6 comments Anne wrote: "What is it about the ones that you don't want to finish. Is it poor writing, slow pace, or just a sucky plot? ( or all the above?) for me it's usually the pace of the novel. I don't need or want on..."

Sometime I just can't stand the characters.


message 49: by Rachel Annie (new)

Rachel Annie (snapdragoness) I'll read the first chapter or whatever is available to preview on Amazon, and if I can't stop rolling my eyes or sighing in irritation, I won't buy the book.

What usually gets me in those first few pages is cheesy dialogue and annoying main characters. And of course, bad writing in general.


message 50: by Leandra (new)

Leandra Azer (azerjaban) | 68 comments Anne, for me it's pacing. That happened to me with Lora Leigh's "Elizabeths Wolf". It started off good, but then slowed way down mid way through and didn't pick back up. If I'm bored reading a book it's usually because of pacing.


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