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Other Hot Book Discussions > At what point do you give up on a book?

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message 1: by Krys (new)

Krys (incognerdo) | 140 comments I always feel like I'm not giving the author enough time to win me over when I decide to stop reading a book. I try to wait until halfway, but sometimes is HARD to get there. When do you guys give up on a book?


Shelby *trains flying monkeys* I try the halfway mark too Kristin. Sometimes I just can't do it. Wicked was one of those. Just couldn't get into that book at all!


message 3: by Krys (new)

Krys (incognerdo) | 140 comments I made it through Wicked because it was the only book I took with me on the airplane. *lol* It was either stare at the bald spot on the guy in front of me or read the book. I opted to read.


message 4: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (lexnick) Oh, you all are too gracious. lol I give it 50 pages. If I can't get past 50 pages in a couple of hours, I abandon the book.


message 5: by Holli (new)

Holli i give it 50-100 pages..... if i dont like it or have some reason to continue with it then i give up! i figure by then something should have grabbed me.....


message 6: by Mary (new)

Mary Honeycutt (magnoliahoney) | 57 comments I give it 100 pages. If I'm not intrigued by then, I put it down, unless a good friend is telling me not to. Life's too short and my "to-read" is way, way too long.


Elizabeth (Alaska) I've kept after some books even when I kept telling myself they were just not worth it. Then by the end, I was really glad I'd invested the time. But that's not with every book. I guess I don't have an automatic amount of time and/or pages I give up on a book.


message 8: by Sydney (new)

Sydney (sydneyh) for me it depends on the book. I've read some pretty bad books to the bitter end. I gave up on a true crime book last year after 100 pages. It just bored the living daylights out of me. I feel okay about giving it 100 pages... sometimes I've found the first 50 pages of a book dull, then all of the sudden the story picks up.


message 9: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca I give up way to easy. If I am not into it goes.


message 10: by Rachelle (new)

Rachelle I usually try to get atleast 100 pages into it, especially if my Goodreads friends recommended it but after that, it goes


message 11: by Melissa Rochelle (new)

Melissa Rochelle (melissarochelle) | 18 comments This is a really good question. Sometimes I'll suffer through to the end, but other times I read the first few pages and know it's not a book for me. I try to give the book at least 50 pages, but even that can be difficult if my attention isn't captured in the first few pages.


message 12: by Valerie (new)

Valerie For me, it sometimes depends on the length of the book. Some long books just take a while to develop and pull me in. I tried reading Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell and actually gave that book several hundred pages to get into since it's so long but I just could do it. I know some people loved it but it wasn't for me.

But usually around 100 pages is my cut-off point.


message 13: by Sharon (new)

Sharon (sharon2020) I go with the halfway mark too if it is still difficult to get through and I own it back in the stack it goes as I have found that at a later date I am usually able to enjoy it. Same with a library book just jot down the title and return it for a later try.


message 14: by Suze (new)

Suze (suzed) | 68 comments I read at least 100 pages before I give up. However, unless I absolutely hated everything in that 100 pages, I save it to read another time. It could be a very long time to get back to it, but I do try if I like the style of writing.
I have about 5 of those books sitting on the shelf - I call it my 'some day I might try to read this again' shelf. ;)


message 15: by Marsha (new)

Marsha (earthmarsha) | 1586 comments As much as I admire and respect authors, I hate to hear that anyone thinks they owe it to an author to keep reading a book they aren't enjoying. It's the author's job to draw you into their story. If that doesn't happen, then just move on.

I'd say fifty pages is a pretty good rule, although I just gave up on a book on page 28 when I was pretty sure I wasn't liking the way it was going (I did page ahead to be sure).

If I'm reading a book and the very thought of picking it up makes me sigh, roll my eyes, and race through the house looking for something, anything, else to read, I know it's time to give up on it.


message 16: by Nadia (new)

Nadia (bagambo) I have the bad habit of finishing the book even if its an awful read. I just can't bring myself to stop reading it, because I think that I have to finish it off. UGH! I need to form the habit of putting down a book if I don't like it. Life is too short to waste on bad books.


message 17: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sarahsaysread) I don't have a specific amount. I try to read at least a couple chapters, but if it's really not interesting, I give up. I ended up doing that with American Gods by Neil Gaiman - it seemed like such a good premise, but I was really disinterested. If I read for a bit, stop, and then don't feel the urge to keep reading, I realize that it's probably something I won't regret not finishing.


message 18: by Alreem (new)

Alreem (reemie87) | 9 comments For me, it depends on the book, if its over a 1000 then 300 pages, for a 800 its 200 and a 300 i give it about 100. But even so i don't think i ever quit a single book.


message 19: by Tera, First Chick (new)

Tera | 2563 comments Mod
I'm tough. If I'm not there within 20-50 pages at the max I put it down. I used to feel guilty but then I realized that the only thing I should feel guilty of is giving up my precious reading time to a book I dont enjoy when there are so many more out there that I would love.
My time is precious and books are many. I don't think the book is going to hold it against me so I put it down and move on to the next.


message 20: by Peanut (new)

Peanut | 149 comments It really depends. Sometimes it is right away if the writing is terrible and the characters absolutely annoying (those are the books that go in the trash).

Other times it is maybe 100+ pages into the book. There really is no set amount I guess. I just "know".

Sometimes I do stick it out like The Book Thief. I just didn't like how it was narrated originally but I'm so glad I stuck with it.

It's a gamble when I do stop reading a book.


message 21: by Usako (new)

Usako (bbmeltdown) | 654 comments I can't stop! I MUST finish. The only reason why a couple of books sit halfway finished is because another waved its magic wand and distracted me by the shiny. But about halfway is when I begin to SKIM read. :P


message 22: by Rose (last edited Aug 19, 2009 01:38PM) (new)

Rose (roseo) Tanja wrote: "I can't stop! I MUST finish. The only reason why a couple of books sit halfway finished is because another waved its magic wand and distracted me by the shiny. But about halfway is when I begin to SKIM read ..."

I am ROTFL sooooo hard! That's EXACTLY what I do! I'm running out of bookmarks- tee-hee! :)




message 23: by Monica (new)

Monica (imelda85) I really try to stick it out, most of the time I'm glad I did so, but there are times when I wish I'd just set the book aside.

With The Time Traveler's Wife I tried reading it a year or so ago and gave up, then I picked it up again and was determined to get through it and I'm glad I did because I ended up really loving it. Now with The Post-Birthday World, I regret that I didn't just stop reading and move onto another book. It just never grabbed me and I didn't care about the characters at all. I guess it just all depends on the book and what I'm in the mood for!


message 24: by Alreem (new)

Alreem (reemie87) | 9 comments Peanut wrote: "Sometimes I do stick it out like The Book Thief. I just didn't like how it was narrated originally but I'm so glad I stuck with it. "

That's what I'm reading now and i'm having a hard time getting through it, is it really worth it ??


message 25: by Rachelle (new)

Rachelle It's a great story if you can hang in there.


message 26: by Vikki (new)

Vikki | 304 comments I hate to quit reading a book but I usually hate it more after I forced myself to finish it and I hated it.


message 27: by Marsha (new)

Marsha (earthmarsha) | 1586 comments I've noticed the same thing, Brenda. It takes a good writer to make it work; otherwise it's distracting at best.


message 28: by Monika (new)

Monika (marriedmurder) | 130 comments i usually try to read the first few chapters...maybe 50-100 pages...

but recently i started a new book, and 4 nights in a row it literally put me to sleep...and i realized i was only 24 pages in...at that point i was like, ok, i just need to put this back, and maybe pick it up in a few months to give it another shot...i've never experienced that before with a book by an author i love, and a book i've heard pretty good things about...


message 29: by Krys (last edited Aug 20, 2009 09:41AM) (new)

Krys (incognerdo) | 140 comments My first experience with the "jumping around" was in Faulkner's "The Sound and the Fury." By the end of that book I was so confused and frustrated, I had no idea what was going on and had no desire to. Partially my teacher's fault... who gives a high school kid Faulkner??

I'm finally over the 200 page mark. I'm reading the book with a friend and I'm simply determined to finish it. I finally had a breath of fresh air last night... they're having problems with the book too.


message 30: by Meredith (new)

Meredith Jones | 8 comments Usually if I hit a sentence that's either impossibly cliche or impossibly obvious, that makes me stop.


message 31: by Eve (new)

Eve (eve_lyn) I have never given up on a book. I just "set it aside" until I have the time and patience to suffer, er, persevere through it. Either that or once all the other reading material available inexplicably disappears - including phone books, candy wrappers, road signs, etc. Whichever comes first.


message 32: by Vicki (new)

Vicki I think like many people, I'd give it 50-100 pages and then if I am really having problems, I look at goodread reviews and then make a decision. If I own the book, I may keep it around for awhile before I completely abandon it, but if its a library book, it goes back.
However, if I make it to the halfway point I almost have to finish it, especially if its a book about 300 pages because I read that far, I figure I should finish it. And I have sat there grumbling about the "dumb book" I am still reading.


message 33: by Usako (new)

Usako (bbmeltdown) | 654 comments Rose -- *giggles* Thankfully the guilt weighs heavy enough that on weekends I'll push through the horrible ones. I STILL haven't finished Drowning Fish. Sigh.

Brenda -- Maybe that's why I'm somewhat drowning in Forgotten Garden. It's a similar writing style that I've read lately. Over and over. SIIIIGH.


message 34: by Sharon A. (new)

Sharon A. (sharona826) | 172 comments I give it 50 pages. If it hasn't gripped me, or given me some hope that it will soon, I give up. This is one of the reasons I'm so grateful for this group. There are some reads I've liked better than others, but there have been very few that I've tossed aside.




message 35: by Tera, First Chick (new)

Tera | 2563 comments Mod
I will say sometimes I put a book down not because I hate it but because I am simply not in the mood for that type of book at the moment. I might pick it up later because I know if I wanted to read that type of a book it would be a good choice. Sometimes I'm in the mood for popcorn sometimes I want a full meal.


Shelby *trains flying monkeys* I do that too. I put down The Thirteenth Tale when I first bought it. Just wasn't into reading it then. I picked it up when it was nominated here and I ended up loving it. I did start the Historian once before and I'm hoping the same thing will happen with it.


message 37: by Vicki (new)

Vicki I definitely agree with being in the mood for books, lately I have been dealing with that a lot and I am almost afraid to start a new book, because I don't want to dislike it. I usually keep the books for a later date, or if its a library book, I keep it on my tbr and know someday, I'll get back to it.

Recently, I got Those Who Save Us out of the library and didn't feel I was in the right place to read it, but I picked it up at Paperbackswap and am confident that when the time is right I will love it.


message 38: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (jenngv) I am an emotional reader. I feel guilty if I don't finish a book, almost like failing. I need to be in the mood for a particular genre.
I have started 2 different books I had to stop because they were disturbing Snow Flower and the Secret Fanand Millroy the Magician.
The footbinding was too graphic and Millroy was too weird. In these two cases I haven't given up on the author yet...
The other reason I give up is if I get into the story but find I don't care what happens to the protagonist.
Shelby, I recently finished The Historian and really liked it, try again!


message 39: by Roberta (new)

Roberta (wwwgoodreadscomrooonuma) | 59 comments About 50 to 100 pages.

I try to avoid ditching a book by, reading the first page, the middle page, and a paragraph on the last couple of pages....if it hooks you, chances are you will finish the book.

BTW, I could not finish the Barbara K. book that we read a month ago. Nor could I finish The Gift of Fear.


message 40: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn (kathrynh) Roberta wrote: "About 50 to 100 pages.

I try to avoid ditching a book by, reading the first page, the middle page, and a paragraph on the last couple of pages....if it hooks you, chances are you will finish the b..."


I heard once you should read the same amount of pages as your age plus 10 until you are 70, then just leave it at reading 80 pages. I seem to be able to tell within the first few pages and have so many other books I want to read I don't feel badly for moving on. I tried Olive Kitteridge and didn't care for it, but continually read good comments about it, so I may have not given it enough of a chance....and I may need to try it again.


message 41: by Amanda (new)

Amanda  (amandanoel) I don't have a number of pages I will go...if I am not hooked by the first 3-5 chapters then I will put it down. But, having said that I WILL put it down if it doesn't grab me...I have a habit of coming back to books that I have given up on and "trying again" a few months or so after I give up on them. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.


message 42: by Nicki (new)

Nicki | 18 comments I do the same thing.....i find that if before bed I dont want to reach for my book and im at my book shelf trying to find something else to read, I give up.......but i usually come back to finish it eventually....


message 43: by Kate. (new)

Kate. | 2 comments My local librarian made me feel better when she said she gives up at the 50-100 page mark as life is too short to waste on bad books.
My nemesis is Captain Corelli's Mandolin. I gave up at page 108. It still bugs me that it got to me like that...lol


message 44: by Em*bedded-in-books* (last edited Aug 26, 2009 01:07AM) (new)

Em*bedded-in-books* (embeddedinbooks) | 4853 comments I give up when it gets to the point that I start doing household chores in my spare time in an effort to escape the book.
Even I have a habit of coming back to unfinished books. It really depends on one's
moods. Sometimes I find a previously discarded book interesting, and even vice versa


message 45: by Anu (new)

Anu (axaa) | 1 comments Lol.. I just gave up on 'Post-birthday World.' I just have too many books I want to read to struggle through something. But sometimes there are books like 'Special Topics in Calamity Physics' that I almost give up on but then was glad I did not. I just take it one book at a time, give it a little break, come back, and if after two days I cannot remember the character I give up.


message 46: by Lori (new)

Lori Walker I've realized recently that I don't really throw down a book in disgust or force myself to read a certain number of pages before I make a decision. Generally, when I start a book, I'm at it like gang-busters. But if the book is not what I "need" right then, it usually fizzles out, no hard feelings and I'll plan on picking it up again sometime in the future. In the 17 years that I've been reading, there have been very few books that I simply have refused to finish. They were mainly ones for school and I think, with the exception of Heart of Darkness, I plan on giving them another try.


message 47: by Heather (new)

Heather | 18 comments I give it about 15 pages or two chapters. I even gave the first harry Potter 65 and still couldn't do it. I haven't tried it again. I tell my students that there are too many good things that I want to read, that I don't have time for those that don't hook me. I think you are either a stopper or a finisher...and I am not sure you can change :0)


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