Challenge: 50 Books discussion

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Abandoned Books

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message 1: by Christine (new)

Christine | 13 comments I am usually very willing to abandon a book that I'm not enjoying. Now that I've joined this challenge, though, I'm torn. Sometimes I'm more eager than usual to abandon a book I'm not enjoying because those types of books slow me down. Other times I'm less eager to abandon a book because I've spent so much time on it and I want to get done...get another book racked up.

So, what makes you decide to abandon a book? Has this challenge changed your criterion?


message 2: by Lauren (new)

Lauren I have a very very hard time doing it. I can only think of two off the top of my head I have done this with. Usually if it gets to the point where I am reading the words and turning pages with no idea what is going on and I am focussed on something else I finally give up. I have a very tough time with it though. I take it almost as a personal failure.\

On the other hand, why torture yourself? That is what I keep trying to remind myself of.


librarian4Him02 | 234 comments I have no problem abandoning a book I'm not enjoying. If I start thinking, "Why do I care about these people or what happens to them?" then I know it's time to abandon the book.


message 4: by Danine (new)

Danine (dulcemea) Great question. Abandoning books is tough for me and probably some of the only times I've experience deep guilt.

Not only will I not finish a book but I will mope for a for a few days...or weeks until I've realized that I could be reading and enjoying other books. I also talk with a friends and have them tell me it's OK to not finish the book.

It's a vicious and dramatic cycle. It's stupid and I'm deeply ashamed that it's so tough for me to simply stop reading a book because I don't like it. I should really bring it up in therapy.


message 5: by Aprile (new)

Aprile (aprileb) I try VERY hard to give a book 100 pages. With that said, if I have read a hundred pages, I can't bear to lose all of that time so I finish reading it, lol. However, I think I am going to try and abandon books a little more willingly, cause I have been reading some really crappy ones lately.


message 6: by Jodi (new)

Jodi (toomuch2read) I never used to be able to NOT finish a book but with age I gave
myself permission. I do have a rule of reading at least 1/3 before
returning it to a shelf.


message 7: by Rachel (new)

Rachel (rachelehm) If I am reading a book and I don't like it, I usually try really hard to finish it. If I get to the point where cracking it open feels like a chore and I would rather NOT read a book at all than finish the "bad one" then I won't keep going.


message 8: by KrisT (new)

KrisT I agree this is very hard. If I pick up a book at random (not knowing anything about it before hand) and it doesn't grab me I will abandon that much easier than if it is a book several have recommended or if it is on a best list somewhere etc. Those I try to tough out and find what was so great about it. Sometimes I am surprised by how much I like it when I muscle through other times I think 'what a bunch of hooey':)


message 9: by Cecilia (new)

Cecilia (cissygold) I have no problem abandoning a book that I cannot just get into. It keeps me from reading books that I really like. But with that being said there have been some books that I have been told to hang-in-there by friends or the girls at the bookstore and have been happy I did.


message 10: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 235 comments Christine wrote: "I am usually very willing to abandon a book that I'm not enjoying. Now that I've joined this challenge, though, I'm torn. Sometimes I'm more eager than usual to abandon a book I'm not enjoying beca..."

I too find it difficult to abandon a book. I have trouble walking out of bad movies, too. With DVD's, I can fast forward to find out the ending which is nice.

If I do abandon a book, I generally scan through the remainder and read the last couple pages.

In truth I abandon very few.




message 11: by Molly (last edited Jan 18, 2009 01:59PM) (new)

Molly | 330 comments I have never abandoned a book - even if I can't stand picking it up to continue, I do it. Even if it is awful, I just cannot stand not knowing how it ends.


TheReadingKnitter/ Kasey (thereadingknitter) I have an easy time abandoning a book sometimes and sometimes I don't. I try to read at least to page 50 and if I'm not into the book then I put it down and say I'll pick it up again later. And then I think to myself there are to many books in the world to worry over if I like one book or not.


message 13: by Aryll (last edited Jan 28, 2009 03:35PM) (new)

Aryll (things_change) | 89 comments I usually abandon a book right at the beginning (not more than 1/4 read) if i dont like it. but if im close to finishing it ill finish it (if i can). but i normally read the ending of any book that im willing to abandon, cuz i know it will bug me so badly if i dont. but that's just me...

~Aryll


message 14: by erin buchanan (new)

erin buchanan | 188 comments I have the worst time abandoning books, because of the same reasons that people said here. I'll usually read 1/3 or 100 pages before I'll give up. I'm sad to say I didn't abandon Hannibal (Thomas Harris) which is possibly one of the worst I've read. I have been able to give up Harry Potters (I know it's a sin, but I can't stand her writing) and Blindness (real punctuation please! and the vulgarity of it bothered me).


MB (What she read) I like your 100 pages idea! I'm going to try that.




message 16: by Tia (new)

Tia (proceedcyclone) | 41 comments Judging by the amount of books I've begun and never finished, especially ones I've purchased, I'd say that I abandon books too easily. However, I generally do so begrudgingly. I'll carry the book around with me for weeks, reading a minuscule amount of pages until I become disgusted that I haven't actually made any progress and finally decide that if I pick up something else, maybe I can actually read something, which is, after all, the point.

Someone once told me to only read 25 pages before you decide whether to finish or put aside a book, but I find those first 25 pages extremely easy and not far enough into the plot and characters to decide that early. That being said, depending on the length, I can, generally, get half way through before I want to abandon it, which makes the decision even more difficult because of all the effort already put forth.

Being a future high school English teacher, I feel like I should read the novels that are frequently assigned in the classroom to better be able to judge which books I'd want to select in the future for my own classroom. Also, books that are highly recommended, I feel like I should finish because there has to be a reason for the acclaim, right?


message 17: by MB (What she read) (last edited Jan 22, 2009 05:30PM) (new)

MB (What she read) I have no problem abandoning a book. I read 4-5 chapters then if I still don't care for it, I'll read the last 2 chapters to see if I like the ending. If the ending doesn't grab me--it's back to the library and on to something new!

My philosophy is:

1) I read for pleasure.
2) There are lots of wonderful books out there that I haven't found yet.
3) Why am I wasting my time on something I don't really care for or that is boring me?
4) My time is valuable (to me) and my enjoyment is as well. Books are like people...why spend time with those that you don't care for or enjoy??? (Especially if you don't have to.)

Books are unique, just like READERS are unique.

Some books are better "matches" for other people's personalities. If you don't like it, don't worry about it...and don't feel guilty for not finishing it! That particular book is just not a good fit for "YOU".


message 18: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 235 comments MB wrote: "I have no problem abandoning a book. I read 4-5 chapters then if I still don't care for it, I'll read the last 2 chapters to see if I like the ending. If the ending doesn't grab me--it's back to..."

Hear! Hear!


message 19: by Sarenna (new)

Sarenna (djsthree) | 44 comments I do the 100 page test as well. If it doesn't grab me within 100 pages, down it goes. I used to have a really hard time abandoning books, but my reading time is so limited, I'd rather spend it reading books I enjoy.


message 20: by Jamie (new)

Jamie | 7 comments I try to finish a book, but if theres another book in line that I'm really looking forward to, and the current one isn't pleasing me, I'll dump it.


message 21: by Dawn (new)

Dawn rizzi (dawnie278) I also do the 100 page deal and then make a choice. Normally I am thrilled I kept going or thrilled I dumped it. I have over 100 books sitting on my shelves all unread and waiting so why waste the only hour a day I give myself to read on something i am not enjoying. If your worried about all the wasted funds on these books. Join a book trading site. I did and it feels so good to give away the books that are just collecting dust on my shelves. Also I have saved alot of money getting new authors off there to try. I used to be very upset when i didn't enjoy a book and so many other people did but now I just dump it and start something I know I'll love.


message 22: by Megan (new)

Megan Lyons | 83 comments I read to be entertained, so I have no qualms about putting aside a book I don't like. That being said, if I am reading a book, such as a classic that I feel I 'should' read, I put more effort into getting through it. I rarely actually put a book down, for even if I didn't like it, I can find things about it that I appreciate. Often with books that I don't finish, I end up coming back to them at another time when I am more in the mood for them.


message 23: by Gina (new)

Gina I have a hard time giving up a book. I try to give every book a chance. I find that if I can get more than halfway through a book or even halfway, that I just HAVE to finish it. I know it's self-torture but I can't help it.

The book that I had a hard time getting through was I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. I simply HATED that book. My friend gave it to me to read because she thought I would be amused but I really was more grossed out than anything. However, of course me being me I had to finish it. So I did. It was probably one of the biggest wastes of literature ever. So, I can tell all of you avoid it at all costs.


message 24: by Bishop (new)

Bishop (A_Bishop) | 152 comments I may quit for a short time...or move it to the bottom of my to read pile, but I don't know that I've ever abandoned one. The closest would be Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, but I eventually muddled through and was rewarded.


message 25: by Fran (new)

Fran Smith (mfran) | 352 comments I agree with the 100 pages, there are just too many good books to waste time on one I'm not enjoying.



message 26: by Ann (new)

Ann (engel-ish) As I get older, I'm much more willing to abandon. Life is too short to read bad books!


message 27: by Sandy (new)

Sandy (STigard) I totally agree with the above: life is short and time is precious, so if I just can't get into a book (I really do try, though) it gets tossed aside pretty fast. On to something worth reading, I say!


ஐ Briansgirl (Book Queen)ஐ (briansgirlkate) I give the book one chapter. If by then I either don't care for it or could care less what happens, then I put it down. It's harder when it's a recommended book as you wonder why others would like it, but as Adam West (formerly Batman on tv) said in an old TV Land ad... "Life's too short to watch crap." In this case read not watch. lol




message 29: by Ed (new)

Ed (ejhahn) | 235 comments BriansGirl wrote: "I give the book one chapter. If by then I either don't care for it or could care less what happens, then I put it down. It's harder when it's a recommended book as you wonder why others would like ..."

Life's short. Eat dessert first!


message 30: by Leslie (new)

Leslie | 312 comments The older I get the easier it is to not finish a book. My most difficult issue is when our book group has selected a book and I hate it. I know that I should finish it in order to share in the discussion, but I hate feeling like I'm forcing myself to read something I don't want to read.

It's difficult to give up on books that people have gushed about, too!


message 31: by Christie (new)

Christie Bishop wrote: "I may quit for a short time...or move it to the bottom of my to read pile, but I don't know that I've ever abandoned one. The closest would be Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, but I eventually ..."

I did'nt get the reward from The Sound and the Fury, unless it was to know I didn't want to read any more Faulkner. I did finish it, but it was painfull.



message 32: by Eva (new)

Eva I find it really hard to abandon a book. I've only done it a few times and they stick out sharply in my mind.

Moby Dick by Herman Melville
This book I had to read for class, but we weren't obliged to finish it. I tried to keep going, but then I reached the part when they start chasing the whale in earnest (with the famous line Thar she blows). I realized I really couldn't care less what happened next and at that point in the book I probably should. So I dropped it.

Wicked The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
I was surprised I couldn't finish this (since I love retellings of classic stories and I loved the musical Wicked). I got about halfway through and I was so unconcerned with these characters that I didn't continue (besides it was due back at the library). My indifference probably stems from the fact that the book is not like the musical. I'll probably revisit this later.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
This book I abandoned twice before finishing. I just couldn't get past the Old Forest part. This was long before any of the movies had come out. I knew that I had to finish it because I was sure I would like it (I had read the Hobbit and loved that). Eventually, I just slogged through the first 200 pages and the rest flew by. I loved the Return of the King the best.

So maybe the lesson here is to give books another chance. Or never read Herman Melville.


message 33: by Tia (new)

Tia (proceedcyclone) | 41 comments Bishop wrote: "I may quit for a short time...or move it to the bottom of my to read pile, but I don't know that I've ever abandoned one..."

When I put one down, it's generally with the intention of returning, but I find it harder to get through the second time around generally as the same problem exists in addition to now I know what's going to happen until I can reach beyond the point of where I decided to set the book down previously and there's nothing left making me want to read the book other than sheer determination.


message 34: by Molly (new)

Molly | 330 comments Caterry wrote: "I did'nt get the reward from The Sound and the Fury, unless it was to know I didn't want to read any more Faulkner. I did finish it, but it was painfull."

Seems like I have made up for your displeasure since I re-read this every few years - it is one of my favorites. But I could see how daunting it can be to get through even the first few pages.




message 35: by Kristi (last edited Feb 02, 2009 01:40PM) (new)

Kristi  | 524 comments So many books so little time. A book has 100 pages and if I find myself not reading it or not interested I put it down. There have been instances where I have put a book down and tried it again later and wound up enjoying it.


message 36: by Jeff (new)

Jeff Celander | 13 comments My father would always read the last 3-5 pages of book before starting it. If he liked what he saw he would read the whole book. I picked up that habit. Seems to work because I rarely abandon a book. If I do abandon one. I put put on the shelf and wait until I'm ready to appreciate it. You read for enjoyment and personal growth. If neither is happening then why do it, life is too short and there are too many other books waiting to be read.


message 37: by Jenn (new)

Jenn (miss_nifer) | 15 comments It's really difficult to get me to abandon a book, but as I get older, I'm loosening the reigns a little. I think I have around 12 that I've given up on in all the time I've been reading. Not too bad...and definitely something I don't regret either. There are just too many other good books to be read!


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