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Ancient History (Old Threads) > What is your point of no return?

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message 1: by Margaret (new)

Margaret (readingwithmargaret) My first time starting a new thread, hope that I am doing it correctly. (please tell me if I didn't).

I am curious, what is your point of no return in a book? That point where supper will be late because you just can't put the book down. That spot that grabs you and doesn't let go. You are up till 2-3 am just to finish.

For me it is usually just past the half way mark, if I am reading on my kindle it's usually seems to be around 60%, then zap, I'm hooked.

Next...


message 2: by Janice (new)

Janice (jamasc) It depends on how engaged I am in a book. If it's a page turner, I could settle right in around the same part as you. Otherwise, it's around the 75% to 80% mark.


message 3: by Jon (new)

Jon | 325 comments I thought you were going to say whats your point of no return before deciding you have to finish a book even though its rubbish - thats a tricky one!


message 4: by Margaret (new)

Margaret (readingwithmargaret) Jon wrote: "I thought you were going to say whats your point of no return before deciding you have to finish a book even though its rubbish - thats a tricky one!"

Well that is a good question too. If I make it past 100 pages then I finish it, if I can't even make it that far, back on the shelf it goes.


message 5: by Alex (new)

Alex | -3 comments Hmm, well, really it depends on the book. I mean, I have books where from the first chapter I've just been compelled to read as much and as often as possible; other books I've finished but not been particularly engaged with so there's not been a point where I've felt like 'wow, I have to find out what's happening!'

As for the other question, once I start a book I usually finish it - but if I really am not enjoying it after a couple of chapters then I don't bother finishing it.


message 6: by Terri (new)

Terri Margaret's question.
Usually around the start. I get hooked into the start of a book and can postpone life for it. Then, as the book goes on I can get distracted more easily and I also get bored easily.

Jon's question, also a good question.
It's after halfway for me. I will force myself to read about 2/3rds of a book before I shut it for good. I won't include a book as read on my GR shelves unless I make it passed halfway. :)


message 7: by Becky, Moddess (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 3385 comments Mod
I don't really have a point where I'm consistently too hooked to put a book down. Depending on the story, it can be anywhere or nowhere.

And for me, putting a book down isn't a bad thing, because if there's a lot of tension or if I'm invested in the characters and worried for them, I need a little breather before going on.

If I put the book down and then have no desire to pick it back up again, then we have a bit of an issue. :P

Regarding Jon's question... I used to be a completionist. I would read the entire book, thinking that there had to be something worthwhile in it, and end up hating it and getting annoyed with myself for wasting my time on something I wasn't enjoying. So gradually I've started giving books less and less chance to wow me.

Lately I've been giving up on books at around the 50 or 100 page point, regardless of length. If they don't grab me by then, or if the writing is bad enough that I can't stand it, I'll abandon it. And unlike Terri, I do count those as read. I figure that the book had it's chance and failed. I should get some credit for the attempt and the boredom and/or torture I endured!


message 8: by Maude (new)

Maude | 752 comments I'm with you, Becky. If a book is such that I am having trouble being invested in it by 50 or 100 pages, it's sayonara, goodbye.


message 9: by J.A. (new)

J.A. Beard (jabeard) I don't really have a point of no return. Most of my reading is accomplished in fifteen minute chunks during bus rides, et cetera. I'm usually reading a few books at the same time as well.


message 10: by Ioana (new)

Ioana | -12 comments Maude wrote: "I'm with you, Becky. If a book is such that I am having trouble being invested in it by 50 or 100 pages, it's sayonara, goodbye."

Maude, I'm the same, although sometimes my patience runs out even sooner than that, and I abandon the book. Although, I've been rewarded with great books that started slow, and developed later.

With Kindle, 25% is the limit. If a book does not capture my by the 25% point, I stop reading it. There are so many good books out there I want to read, why waste my time?


message 11: by Lori (new)

Lori Baldi | -46 comments The curious point for me is that some consider the book to be "read" if it hasn't been completed. I disagree with that practice but understand the rationale to a point. I don't think that I can say what page number I use for a drop off zone. I think a percentage of the book is more acurate for me. I try to complete a book if I've read 25% of the book. But even that is not written in stone. But I don't consider those books read. I've started a bookshelf on GoodReads for uncompleted books and luckily I only have a few listed. But there would be tons of books if I looked at my reading history.


message 12: by Becky, Moddess (new)

Becky (beckyofthe19and9) | 3385 comments Mod
I have an 'abandoned' shelf, which used to only have a few books on it, but is steadily growing as my patience for bad or boring books dwindles.

I am willing to give anything a try, but if the beginning to middle is poorly written, or doesn't grab my attention in some way, and if I don't see a decent amount of potential for the rest of the book, I give up on it. Too many books, too little time.

I count it read because I attempted it. If it was a better book, I would have finished it. *shrug*

It goes without saying that what I feel is a poorly written or boring book is one that others probably love. I don't think I'm unreasonably picky, but I do expect at the very least to be entertained.


message 13: by Janice (new)

Janice (jamasc) I have a bookshelf for abandoned and made it exclusive. That way, it doesn't get marked as "read".


message 14: by Cheryl A (new)

Cheryl A | 937 comments I have a habit that drives my daughter crazy. If I'm having problems getting into a book and I'm at least 25% through it, I'll read the last 5 or 6 pages. If I'm curious as to how the book progressed to that ending, I'll continue on. If not, I'll put it aside. Sometimes it's just the mood I'm in and sometimes it's the book itself - I still want to read Fall of Giants, but only made it about 100 pages in the first go-round. I just couldn't committ at the time to a 1000 page book.


message 15: by Cheryl A (new)

Cheryl A | 937 comments Dutch, I'm so glad to hear I'm not the only one!! My daughter asked me once why I did this and I told her that regardless of what happens in the world or to me, I will at least know how the book ends!


message 16: by Janice (new)

Janice (jamasc) If I'm reading a book that is quite tense, I have to peek ahead. I'll read snippets randomly between where I am in the book to the end of the book. I'm starting to get away from that habit with ebooks and audiobooks. It's a little harder to do in those formats. :)


message 17: by Terri (last edited Jul 11, 2011 11:17PM) (new)

Terri To the gals chatting about having an 'incomplete' or 'abandoned' shelf.
An 'abandoned' shelf is not a bad idea. Although, when I think about it..*pauses to think*....I beleive I have only given up on 3 books in the last two years, so perhaps the shelf would be too small. Hrmph. When I started this post I had intended to say that I was going to set an abandoned shelf up...now I have talked myself out of it. hehe.

I had my worst 'abandonment' recently. I read a book that was nearly 600 pages and gave up on it with only 30 pages to go. It was not a story (fiction), but a non-fiction (meaning I had no loose ends to tie up) and I had no interest whatsoever in the authors closing chapter as I had already forced myself through over 500 pages of his toxic attitude. :)
I don't think I have EVER given up on a book that close to the end before. It was certainly a weird feeling.


message 18: by Faith (new)

Faith Justice | 183 comments Like many, it depends on the book. The vast majority of books I read, I can put down when I need to and pick up later. A very, very few make it into the "stay up to the wee hours to finish" category.

In my youth, I finished every book I started. As I've gotten older that has changed drastically. I now give the book two chapters to grab me. It doesn't have to enthrall me, just be well-enough written and entertaining enough to be worth my time. Even with my lowered bar, I've only marked two books "unfinished" this year.


message 19: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 221 comments I have an allergy to cutesiness especially cute character names. If I see any such thing in a book, I may be abandoning it on the first page. HF rarely has this problem. I abandon HF because of major historical inaccuracies, because the author is infodumping so much that I can't consider it fiction or because there are no sympathetic characters.


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm with Shomeret, the most infuriating to me are the historical inaccuracies. Second would be the lack of setting and feeling like I'm in a different place and time. Don't skimp on details.

I enjoy books where you can't tell the fictional characters from the real ones - or at least the interaction is such you can imagine the characters living in that time. If a book is only 'flavored' with history, forget it.


message 21: by Laura (new)

Laura Gill | 148 comments Historical inaccuracies are a major turn-off, as are historical figures who don't act in character, and lazy writing. I can name some popular authors who are guilty of this, but would rather not in case they're on this forum.

I honestly do try to avoid those mistakes when writing my own books.


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

There's no point of no return for me. If it hooks me it hooks me, if it doesn't, well, it doesn't. I could stay hooked for hours and then the book'll hit a down spot right at the end. At that point I'll either skim over the boring and keep the momentum or, if the boring never stops, just quit reading all together. I'm weird that way, I guess.


message 23: by Linda (new)

Linda G. I usually know when I'm hooked within the first couple of chapters. When the reading is so compelling I RESENT being interrupted, I know the book is a keeper. Most recently, this was Karleen Koen's book Before Versailles. From the get-go I'd snarl at the phone when it rang. I'd go hungry an extra hour before fixing dinner. I'd skip my favorite tv show. You get the picture. Once I'm really hooked I don't want to come up for air.


message 24: by Jayme (new)

Jayme (jaymetheghostreader) | 2775 comments Adding to the abandoned shelf conversation, I call my abandoned shelf "duds".


message 25: by Sarah Louise (new)

Sarah Louise (keytan) For me, it all depends on how long the book IS I think. I mean, if it's a 500-1000 page book, and I'm having a hard time after the first 100 pages, well then no thanks. But if it's only a 300 page book, I usually get stubborn and say to myself "well it's GOT to get better". Recently I read one of the Iron Fey books (fantasy being my other genre of choice) and I was more than half way through when I said to myself "This is a dumb book". None the less I finished it, gave it a chance, and no. I wont be able to continue the series after that disaster, but it does make me think twice about giving up on books. Maybe I should be a little more cut throat.
I SOMETIMES consider them 'read' if I don't finish one. If I'm half way or more, it's read. If i'm less then I say better luck with the next one.
Here's the thing, what do you do when you buy a new book, get well into a book, hate it?


message 26: by Jayme (new)

Jayme (jaymetheghostreader) | 2775 comments Why punish yourself if you hate it?


message 27: by Sarah Louise (new)

Sarah Louise (keytan) I just have so much hope that it'll get better!! but thats me i'm one of those eternal optimists


message 28: by Nancy from NJ (new)

Katz Nancy from NJ (nancyk18) I find that most books grab me by page 10 but just to be sure if I'm going to ditch a book, I will read till page 50. I just finished two books for f2f book groups and really persevered hoping they would get better but they didn't and I felt as though I wasted my time


message 29: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (rockstarninja) To the first question:
It really depends of what's going on around me. I usually do my reading either on my lunch at work or before bed.I HAVE to stop reading at work, and if I work early in the morning I don't care how into the book I am, I'm going to stop reading.

To the second question:
If I have to put the book down more than 3 times and that next time I have to think about forcing myself to read it then I'm done, regardless of how far into it I am.

To Sarahs question:
If I buy a new book and start reading it, and it's awful, I'll just return it. If it's within the return period that is, if not I'll just take it to the used bookstore. It's not worth my time to read a book I don't like.


message 30: by Harry (new)

Harry Nicholson (harrynicholson) I know when it is right; that is when I re-read paragraphs just to savour the fine language.
I know when it is wrong: when I start reading so fast I begin to jump to page ends and then to skim. Then, next stop, the charity shop.


message 31: by Sarah Louise (new)

Sarah Louise (keytan) Baha! I did it! I was reading this book (maybe got a little too far into it), But I put it down and gave up on it! SO THERE OPTIMISM!


message 32: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) | 2231 comments Progress! :)


message 33: by Larry (new)

Larry Moniz (larrymoniz) If you were in a restaurant and received rancid meat, would you eat it or reject it? I'd send it back and order another dish. It's the same principle with a book. While it's not possible to trade it in, you can stop the unpleasant taste and give it a poor review so others know to not make the same ordering mistake. That's what reviews are for.


message 34: by jb (new)

jb Byrkit (jbbyrkit) Good analogy Larry.

For me, I never mark a book as read unless I finish the whole book. I have not given up on any books yet either....some I have sat aside and come back (or will come back to). I have finished a few in which I wondered what in the world.....but kept going.


message 35: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Eisenmeier (carpelibrumbooks) | 341 comments For me, it really depends on the book. If it doesn't have proper punctuation, i.e., no quotation marks around the dialogue, or if there's lots of spelling and/or grammar mistakes, I put it down it quick. Otherwise, the point of no return for me is when I find a character(or person if it's a biography or memoir) I like and bond with or I laugh out loud and have to go read that passage to someone because it's too funny not to.


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