Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy discussion

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General Discussion > How many chapters before you give up on a book?

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message 1: by Singing Bowl (last edited Jan 22, 2015 10:27AM) (new)

Singing Bowl Much like the topic says, how many pages, or chapters do you all give a book before you call it quits? I've noticed that if I'm having to slough through the prose, no matter how eloquent, I stop within a few pages. Is that a bad habit? It's probably a bad habit.


message 2: by Edward (new)

Edward Jamieson (edwardjamieson) | 54 comments I've never given up on anyone.


message 3: by Michelle (new)

Michelle (quill_n_ink) | 107 comments A few pages? Sometimes a book doesn't get it's grove for a couple of chapters.

I'm cursed with the need to finish just about any and every book I pick up. It has to be truly bad for me to stop reading. If it's a series, I may take a break before trying the next book but I eventually make my way to the end. Having said that, there are a few books I wish I hadn't finished -- hours of my time that I can't get back and images that can't be "unseen".


message 4: by Jen (new)

Jen (jenius05) | 36 comments It depends on what is going on that would make me want to stop reading. If the book is predictable, I lose interest at the point that I can predict the plot all the way to the end.

If the book doesn't capture me in the first two chapters, I check out and don't usually go back.

If the book hasn't been properly edited, I will stop after about the thirtieth problem unless it's a story that has drawn me in, then I can forgive the mistakes and usually make it to the end.


message 5: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Eliason (RachelEliason) | 20 comments It depends on the book and why I am reading it. It also depends on what the problem is.
A lot of books I pick up because they look like a fun read. If it's not, I put it down. This is my entertainment, not my job.
I am fairly forgiving about editing. If I have to re-read sentences to understand them, that's a deal breaker. If it's just less than stellar writing, I can skim read and see where the story is going.
Story problems on the other hand, are often the end for me. I have so little time and so many books to read, I can't wait on a plot that drags or waste too much time on a book riddle with plot holes.


message 6: by Veronica (new)

Veronica Rosa (veronicadelrosa) Some I'll give a few chapters to if I've read great reviews about it. Others, I'll give a few pages. If it's poorly written, spelling mistakes constantly and etc, then no, I won't bother. I have a ton of books I'd like to read, so wasting my time with one that makes little to no sense, not gonna happen.


message 7: by Sandra J (last edited Jan 22, 2015 03:44PM) (new)

Sandra J Weaver (sandraweaver) | 451 comments Usually I give a book the first chapter to engage my attention. If I hate the main character by then, it's DNF. There have been some books where I couldn't bear to read more than ten or twelve pages. Life's too short (and I'm too old) to force myself to read something I dislike. Poor grammar, lousy editing, and the misuse of homophones put my teeth on edge and will compel me to dump a book. I can excuse a few errors, but I expect at least a fourth or fifth grade level of grammar proficiency from any adult who publishes a book. And I taught fourth grade for 38 years. I know what fourth grade grammar looks like.


message 8: by Jade (new)

Jade Stone | 5 comments I give it five, if it's not interesting until the fifth chapter I give up


message 9: by Carolyn F. (new)

Carolyn F. | 565 comments Around 50 pages, sometimes more.


message 10: by S.N. (new)

S.N. Graves (sngraves) | 11 comments If I like the blurb (premise) then I give it a page, sometimes just a paragraph. If I like the writing after a page I'm going to finish the book. :)


message 11: by Jenna (new)

Jenna | 53 comments I've never had a DNF. If I buy the book, I read it (no matter how much I might dislike it by the end). I'd consider it a a personal failure if I didn't finish (I know...it's a sickness). But believe me, there's been a few I wish I'd been able to quit reading...


message 12: by Missyb (new)

Missyb | 493 comments I usually give it about 50 - 75 pages, if I like the characters I might give it a little longer, but if I don't like the story & characters then 75 is about it. There are very few book I've not finished. I usually trudge though it.


message 13: by Johanna (new)

Johanna Ross Between 3-5 chapters, depending on how long the chapters are and whether I am truly hating the book or it just isn't capturing my interest. There are too many good book in the world to waste time reading something you won't enjoy.


message 14: by Medusa (new)

Medusa Dracul (VampChick2015) | 6 comments its kind of hard for me to choose...i think i would rather finish the book to get the full aspect of the book...and if i didnt like it...if it was a series...i wouldnt read no more of the series!!! Hopefully im not confusing anyone!


message 15: by Amy T (new)

Amy T Evans (amyte2) | 11 comments I really, really try to finish but if I'm not feelin it about 4-5 chapters, 50 pages or so then I give up and try again later.


Crack A Book Cafe (crackabookcafe) | 9 comments I generally try my best to read the entire book. If I actually don't it's because of extreme dislike of a character not the story itself. It's like a personal offence if I don't finish a book even though sometimes I should!!! Just better at making it through a not so good story line.


Paganalexandria  | 238 comments Before Kindle I tried to give a book 100 pages, but there are so many ebooks that are only that long. Now I'll give it 20% to hook me in. A lot of times my book OCD tendencies will make me push through anyway. But by then, I'm usually so irritated, the review would have been nicer if DNF'd.


message 18: by Sandra (new)

Sandra Jackson (sjjackson) | 31 comments Usually I read the whole thing. However, I did give up halfway through the second book of a series. I didn't really like the first book and I hoped it would get better by the second. It didn't.


message 19: by Emily (new)

Emily Taylor (taylorink) | 13 comments A few chapters in, yeah. Around 4, by then you usually have a good grip on the author's 'style' and direction. Then i usually skip to the end to see if it pays off, and then decide whether to skim the novel or dump it haha


Paganalexandria  | 238 comments Emily wrote: "A few chapters in, yeah. Around 4, by then you usually have a good grip on the author's 'style' and direction. Then i usually skip to the end to see if it pays off, and then decide whether to skim ..."

The one thing I really miss about physical books, is how much easier it was to skip around, without losing your original place. It's harder to do that with a ebook.


message 21: by Emily (new)

Emily Taylor (taylorink) | 13 comments Paganalexandria **wicked juices bubbling over** wrote: "Emily wrote: "A few chapters in, yeah. Around 4, by then you usually have a good grip on the author's 'style' and direction. Then i usually skip to the end to see if it pays off, and then decide wh..."


Ah, that is so true!! I try to read physical books when I can. I also find I give up on eBooks a lot quicker than physical :/


message 22: by Missyb (new)

Missyb | 493 comments Medusa wrote: "its kind of hard for me to choose...i think i would rather finish the book to get the full aspect of the book...and if i didnt like it...if it was a series...i wouldnt read no more of the series!!!..."

I'm with you. I might finish a book but will not read anymore of the series if it was bad. That I've done a few times.


message 23: by Alan (new)

Alan | 16 comments I usually like to give it at least the benefit of the doubt for 8-10 chapters to see how well something is developing. But there was a book that I only bought because the reviews (before I came upon this goodreads site) and those of the bookstore clerks. I only made it to maybe 3 chapters and it was absolutely horrible. I gave up on it. I normally share my book with my mother because we share a few common interest in books, but she only made it through the first chapter and called it quits.


message 24: by Emily (new)

Emily Taylor (taylorink) | 13 comments Missyb wrote: "Medusa wrote: "its kind of hard for me to choose...i think i would rather finish the book to get the full aspect of the book...and if i didnt like it...if it was a series...i wouldnt read no more o..."

Done that heaps of times, too.


Brittain *Needs a Nap and a Drink* (bwilliams2013) I'm a little bit self destructive when it comes to finishing books. If I start a book, I will finish it no matter what. This leads to anger, bad moods, book frustration, and negative reviews. I will, however, not read the rest of the series if I truly hate a book. A have a lot of first books in a series on my kindle that I never bothered to spend the money on the second book.


message 26: by Emily (new)

Emily Taylor (taylorink) | 13 comments Alan wrote: "I usually like to give it at least the benefit of the doubt for 8-10 chapters to see how well something is developing. But there was a book that I only bought because the reviews (before I came up..."

That's sad! but I've done that a few times. After such a hype too, and you start a novel with high expectations and the quality isn't there? Nope.


message 27: by Dawn (new)

Dawn Prough (deprough) | 16 comments I give it a chapter or two. If it doesn't interest me, I probably won't finish it. The reason I might continue is because its just interesting enough to keep me going or I may want to see if it's really this bad all the way through. I find that I'm DNFing more and more lately. Stuff that I was fine with as a young person isn't "good enough" anymore. Anyone else find that their tendency to finish has changed?


message 28: by Mia (new)

Mia Mitns | 5 comments A few chapters, unless it is extremely hard to get into the writing style. When that happens, I give up before I can finish the chapter. It is rare when I give up though.


message 29: by Irina (new)

Irina (titaniumgirl) | 8 comments If by the midle of the book I'm still not interested and keep complaining about the leading character I give up. I don't usually leave a book unfinished and I try really hard to finish them, but sometimes I just can't keep on reading because it ends up making myself moody.


message 30: by Mari (new)

Mari Hamill | 21 comments 20 to fifty pages depending on how long the book is. Sometimes I leave a book and pick it up years later


message 31: by Alyssa (new)

Alyssa Richards (alyssarichards) I give a new book a few chapters before I judge. Some books need that long to really get the story spinning. If the book just isn't for me, too violent or whatever, I'll leave it unfinished ... but will make up my own ending!


message 32: by Liz (new)

Liz Meldon (liz_meldon) | 17 comments I always try to tank through, but I will probably stop halfway through if it's a huge struggle. I usually try to come back to a book at some point, but I definitely need a break--a long one--if I can't get through on the first read.


message 33: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (sarahsawesomereviews) | 26 comments If I'm not interested by chapter 5 then I'll skim through before I make a decision the only time I have stopped after the first chapter was once when I was reading a novel in first person and the female protagonist acted like a snob and a slob at the same time it was quite a feat.


message 34: by Slavena (new)

Slavena (miolla) | 13 comments If the book is really bad 50 pages in, some I will read 1/2 through and loose interest, after I leave the book I never come back to read it again. Time is precious


message 35: by Manoushka (new)

Manoushka (lover_of_many_fandoms) | 4 comments To date; I've finished every book I started.
It takes a lot for me to give up on a book.


message 36: by Liv (last edited Feb 03, 2015 11:18PM) (new)

Liv | 26 comments Just once I had to give up. It was like a comedy book in german and I am not so much into comedy or funny stuff at all so it was boring for me and I had to give up after just a few chapters.
Oh and once I didn't really read the full book, I just skipped and skimmed a lot but I made it to the end. Don't know if that counts as giving up, because it was boring but I wanted to know how it ends - it was the book 'Gone Girl'

But generally I don't want to give up, I normally fight thru a book til the end.


message 37: by Loriidae (new)

Loriidae Page 67.
I used to tell myself that the author had gone to all that trouble to put the words on paper and that I should do them the courtesy of reading them. I then realised there are just so many books out there and life is way too short and precious to spend time on a book I am not enjoying. So page 67 is when I make the decision.


Erin *Proud Book Hoarder* (erinpaperbackstash) I rarely give up on books. Some do a slower start but I wouldn't put it down because of that, trust me, they can really take off once they find their footing.

If I hate the writing style or something about it seriously ( like a predictable romance story ), then I will abandon it, but that is not often.


message 39: by N.B. (new)

N.B. (nbroberts) | 10 comments Loriidae wrote: "Page 67..."

Haha! Great answer! :)

I try to apply that unwritten rule about finding a great man to finding a great read: you won’t meet Mr Right while you’re busy looking at Mr Wrong. =)

…But I have been known to give Mr Wrong a second chance. I definitely don’t like DNFing a book, but I don’t like wasting my time either. Years of experience has taught me that I’m very likely to feel the same or worse about the book I’m forcing myself to read by the end of it. There are always exceptions to the rule and I know I’ve discovered some of those too. Life of Pi is an example. I wanted to DNF that about one third in, but I persevered and ended up giving it five stars! I don’t mind slow starts at all, unless it is meant to be a fast paced plot-driven story. I’m more likely to give up on a book because of bad writing, character inconsistencies and/or plot holes.


message 40: by Loriidae (new)

Loriidae by N.B wrote "...I’m more likely to give up on a book because of bad writing, character inconsistencies and/or plot holes.

Me too, one of the reasons I haven't read 50 shades of Grey is I have heard often that it is poorly written and poorly edited.

Hey I got peeved just reading "pumkin soup" on the cafe menu yesterday....


message 41: by Dexx (new)

Dexx Peay (dexxpeay) | 6 comments I go about 1/3 into the book and then I just have to give it up if I can't get into it!


message 42: by N.B. (new)

N.B. (nbroberts) | 10 comments Loriidae wrote: "Hey I got peeved just reading "pumkin soup" on the cafe menu yesterday..."

Hehehe!! I'm always tempted to get out my red pen :)

...Although, I should say I'm not perfect myself and have had to go back to correct typos. But a 130k word novel is very different from a menu. :D
Yes, I've heard the same about 50 Shades, and I've read some excerpts because they are often used now in 'how to write' (or how 'not' to write, I should say) articles. I didn't like what I read; but the book itself isn't my thing anyway. :)


message 43: by Dexx (new)

Dexx Peay (dexxpeay) | 6 comments Have you ever read a book you thought was predictable and turned out, you had no idea how the plot was going to turn out?

Jen wrote: "It depends on what is going on that would make me want to stop reading. If the book is predictable, I lose interest at the point that I can predict the plot all the way to the end.

If the book doe..."



message 44: by BR (new)

BR Kingsolver (brkingsolver) | 30 comments I've learned to read the 1 and 2 star reviews. If they say a book is poorly edited or poorly written, then I blow it off. With the free sample you can read before you buy, it should give you an indication of how the book reads. Today I checked out a book and in the first two pages of the sample, all the MC did was whine. No thanks.

Predictable or meandering or just not engaging, I'll switch to something else. Tired of the characters or the story, DNF. Stupid plot and stupid characters making stupid decisions, DNF.


message 45: by Cristie (last edited Mar 08, 2015 07:35AM) (new)

Cristie (justalilhavoc) | 1 comments B.R. wrote: "I've learned to read the 1 and 2 star reviews. If they say a book is poorly edited or poorly written, then I blow it off. With the free sample you can read before you buy, it should give you an ind..."

I second this. I've seen people gush about books that seemed like they were a first draft written in a writing workshop. It makes no sense. The "middle of the road" and negative reviews are where you'll find the more honest comments.

Also, to answer the original question, I count eye-rolls. If a book causes me to roll my eyes more than a time or two, I'm done. I've tried to tough it out because I really wanted to know what happens or because I normally like the author, or whatever. I just ended up frustrated and with a headache from all the eye-rolling. Specifically, for unintentionally corny dialogue, repeated bad grammar or editing, or glaring plot holes or inconsistencies (like timeline or character wonkiness). For some reason my brain sees those things like their holding up a neon sign and I just...can't.

Also, if it makes me fall asleep...

Page after page of dialogue is fine, if it moves the plot forward. If it's filler, I'm done.

I have a limited amount of time to read, so I think I owe it to myself not to waste it with mediocre works.

This is a big factor in my current hunt for the next great series. I like to wait for a series to have at least 2 or 3 books out so I can see if I like the direction the series takes. I like to see series that are designed so that each book has it's own flavor, but also moves the larger story forward cohesively. That kind of world-building, planning, forethought, and instinct just doesn't happen every day.


message 46: by Fabi (new)

Fabi | 8 comments I've been known to skim sections but hardly ever dnf. I always finished a book when I was paying $20+ at the bookstore for them. However, because of e-books, I've never had as many books lined up to read as I do now. All of a sudden I'm looking at a list of books I doubt I can finish in my lifetime. I'm going to have to really dislike a book to stop reading it, but I've given myself permission to stop about 20% in if I am really struggling to read it. If I get much farther in, I usually have to finish it and it turns out to be a one star for me. I really hate those. My new motto is "Too many books, too little time."


message 47: by N.B. (new)

N.B. (nbroberts) | 10 comments B.R. wrote: "I've learned to read the 1 and 2 star reviews. If they say a book is poorly edited or poorly written, then I blow it off. With the free sample you can read before you buy..."

I agree with you B.R., it's important to take those on board. Although if it’s just a rating, I often check out the reviewers other typical dislikes/likes. That tells me if this person just doesn’t get on with my kind of book. I’ve found that to be the case a few times where they have low-rated a lot of books that I love. It’s worth finding a good book and not wasting your money. And I agree with you again on the sample thing if one is available, I always check it out. :)


message 48: by BR (new)

BR Kingsolver (brkingsolver) | 30 comments The negative reviews may trigger me to buy a book. The 1 star reviews on Anne Bishop's and Richelle Meade's new series convinced me I would like the books. ;)

For my own novels, I'm proud of a 1 star review where the reviewer complained that I made her think. Luckily it didn't seem to cause any permanent damage since I didn't get sued ...


message 49: by G.G. (new)

G.G. (ggatcheson) | 66 comments oh yeah, a brain can get damaged if it is made to think too much, everyone knows that! :>


Brittain *Needs a Nap and a Drink* (bwilliams2013) I just realized that I do have have one DNF book...Breaking Dawn. I guess I just threw in the towel for that one.


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