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Topic: Keep Reading or Giving Up on a Book?

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Subject: Keep Reading or Giving Up on a Book?
Date Posted: 12/6/2011 12:19 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2009
Posts: 3,789
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How long do you keep reading a book, waiting for it to "get good" before giving up on it?  I read Sarah Waters' "Fingersmith" and loved it, so ordered "Night Watch" by the same author.  I'm now on page 94 (it's 528 pages) and am trying to decide whether to keep reading or move on to another book (like most everyone else here, I have a ton of "to be read" books, so don't want to waste my time on a so/so book!)  This book has left me 'ho hum' up to this point, though I imagine the plot could get interesting.  Your thoughts on giving up on books?

Date Posted: 12/6/2011 7:13 AM ET
Member Since: 1/31/2006
Posts: 1,402
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I have a "rule of the 3" policy.  One third of the book and / or three tries.  If it doesn't interest me by then, I move on.

Date Posted: 12/6/2011 9:18 AM ET
Member Since: 10/27/2007
Posts: 2,284
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I have a 50-page rule.  If a book can't grab my attention by page 50 then I doubt it seriously will.  I post it here and move on. 

Date Posted: 12/6/2011 9:38 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2010
Posts: 1,206
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I always feel guilty about giving up on a book, especially if the reviews are good, or someone I know “loved” it.  But I have gotten better about it, especially if it is WL here and I can move it along.  I don’t have a set page limit, but if I find myself not wanting to pick it back up then it is time.  Sometimes I read the ending to see if I cared how it ended.  It can be a hard call, but there are too many good books out there.  Someone here once I said “I am reading “X” but every time I walk by my TBR other books are calling to me!”  That is how I feel sometimes!

Date Posted: 12/7/2011 12:07 PM ET
Member Since: 2/18/2010
Posts: 171
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It is rare for me to give up on a book.  For some reason, I don't have a problem giving up on an audio book - I always give those at least 2 CDs to hook me - but for some reason I hate giving up on a printed book.  I've only given up on one this year : Possession by A.S. Byatt.  I even gave it 128 pages.  

Date Posted: 12/7/2011 2:20 PM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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I hate giving up on books too, but life is too short to read bad books.  As Margaret said, there are so many good books out there!  I give up as soon as I start getting restless with a book -- usually within 50 pages.

As my hubby wisely told me, "Honey, I don't think giving up on a bad book makes you a quitter."  wink

Date Posted: 12/7/2011 2:51 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,542
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I have a "rule of the 3" policy.  One third of the book and / or three tries.  If it doesn't interest me by then, I move on.

Megan, I am going to use this in 2012.  I have a hell of a time giving up on a book, but you know, sometimes they just don't do it......



Last Edited on: 12/10/11 9:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/8/2011 10:26 AM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2009
Posts: 8,022
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I have a "rule of the 3" policy.  One third of the book and / or three tries.

I do that, too. 

Date Posted: 12/8/2011 6:54 PM ET
Member Since: 6/8/2008
Posts: 206
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I like the idea of the rule of 3 also.  I've given up on some after 10 pages; others after halfway through - no real rhyme or reason.  But life IS too short, and I have so many books that I want to read, that it doesn't make sense for me to stress about finishing a book I hate.

One that bored me to tears for the first 100 pages - Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  However, I'd heard about those 100 pages before starting it, so I sort of knew that I had to plod through before the action kicked in.  That's one I'm glad I stuck with.  Other times, I've given up on hardcovers and found them in audio, and loved the audio versions.   

Date Posted: 12/9/2011 4:08 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2009
Posts: 3,789
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Well, I gave it 119 pages, but just decided to move on from this one, leaving it unfinished.  I skimmed through the rest of the book and I'm pretty sure I did myself a favor by giving up on it.  It's just perplexing when the same author wrote a book which I thoroughly enjoyed, but I don't think this one was anywhere near as good.  So, am going to start another book tonight.  Now to decide which one from my  (always growiing) "to be read" pile!

Date Posted: 12/9/2011 6:11 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2010
Posts: 1,206
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@ Cele - you are so right about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I only stuck it out because so many people loved it, and eventually I did too.

@Karen - good luck picking a new one.  I swear having so many good ones to pick from can be stressful too!

 

I am about to quit Rebecca by du Maurier.  I can tell it is well written but it bores me, it has gone no where and I am on page 130.  Where is this mystery I hear about?


 



Last Edited on: 12/9/11 6:12 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/9/2011 6:30 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2009
Posts: 3,789
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Margaret, I see you just finished "The Glass Castle".  What did you think of it?  I loved it!  Am going to start a new book (hopefully) tonight, either "Bastard out of Carolina", Elin Hilderbrand's "The Love Season", or "Gods in Alabama".  Prior to picking up "Night Watch" I finished Picoult's "House Rules" , a great read!

Date Posted: 12/10/2011 9:15 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2010
Posts: 1,206
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Karen, I loved The Glass Castle!  Don't know why it took me so long to read it.  "Bastard" and "Love Season" are in my TBR.  Like I mentioned I picked up "Rebecca" for the 16th time and tried to get into it.  I also started "Love Walked in Yesterday" in the carpool line.  "Glass Castle" was so good it is hard to follow, you know?

Subject: Girl with the Dragon Tattoo...ZZZZZZZZZZZZ
Date Posted: 12/10/2011 10:41 AM ET
Member Since: 8/6/2011
Posts: 2
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I kept picking up GIrl with the Dragon Tattoo trying to get interested.  My cousin raved about the series and let me borrow all 3 books.  I finally returned them to her after months if trying to make head way through the first one in the series.  It just didn't hold my interest at all.  Like many others on here I have way too many books just waiting to be read.  My rule is that if the book doesn't  grab you in the first couple of  chapters, it probably never will. Sometimes if the reader reviews say to stay with it that it gets better  at a certain point,  I will give it a second.  There have been a few books that I can say I am glad I stayed with them.  But....sometimes you just have to admit it isn't your cup of tea.  Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was not my cup of tea!  Does that  make me a bad person?  cheeky



Last Edited on: 12/10/11 10:45 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/12/2011 11:03 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2010
Posts: 1,206
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Joyce - yes.  Just kidding.  Unfortunately I think "The Girl" really should have been edited in those first 100 pages, the details were so unnecessary, at least in my opinion.  I am sure that many people quit that book, and for good reason, it was not interesting in the beginning.

Date Posted: 12/12/2011 11:09 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,800
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If I'm not looking forward each day to reading more of the book, I close it and find another.  Life is too short to read something that bores me, no matter what anyone says about it.

Date Posted: 12/12/2011 4:29 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2009
Posts: 8,022
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I am about to quit Rebecca by du Maurier.  I can tell it is well written but it bores me, it has gone no where and I am on page 130.  Where is this mystery I hear about?

We were forced to read this "classic" in school and it was a complete snooze.  I remember it vaguely as that book with the boring, pushover "protagonist" that ended with her discovering somebody having an inappropriate relationship with a certain somebody.  If you really want to know about the mystery it's on wikipedia.  The mystery is a big letdown, IMO.



Last Edited on: 12/12/11 4:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/12/2011 7:23 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2010
Posts: 1,206
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@ Jennifer - thanks, I read wikipedia - I hadn't thought of that!  Glad I can put than one away now!

Subject: Rebecca
Date Posted: 12/13/2011 5:31 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 167
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I have had the same experience with "Rebecca" just can't get a foothold! I like to think that I am an unprejudiced and disciplined reader but... well I also have a million books and I have used both the 50 pages and 1/3 or 3 tries rule, they seem to work.

I know I am "into it" when I feel real life interrupts my reading, and you can get into big trouble that way!!

The best books I have read lately are Dogs of Babel, Amnesia Nights and Sarah's Key!

5/21/12 :Add to that The Outlander~Gil Adamson~ (which I only got to start before having to return it`dang! those library duedates kill me but I am ordering it here and hoping to get back to it real soon) also The Submission~Amy Waldman~very timely and interesting read.

Next up: The Jane Austen Book Club,Factory Girls and And then there were None~Agatha Christie (never read her but it looks good #1 on the Mystery List.



Last Edited on: 5/20/12 8:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 5
Date Posted: 12/13/2011 7:34 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2010
Posts: 1,206
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@Debra R - thanks, that make me feel better, I do always feel guilty when I quit a "classic".  BTW I loved "Sarah's Key", movie was pretty good too, but I hated "Dogs of Babel".

 

@ Karen - what book did you start?

 

This is so true Cozette, you hit the nail on the head:

"If I'm not looking forward each day to reading more of the book, I close it and find another.  Life is too short to read something that bores me, no matter what anyone says about it." 

 

Date Posted: 12/13/2011 8:09 PM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2011
Posts: 1,358
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This topic reminds me of me just the other day...I picked up "The Almost Moon" and began reading, by the tenth page the book had bored me to tears, I finally gave up at page 35 and set it down to choose anothe book from my TBR pile that caught my attention immediately....maybe another day I will try or it might just make it's way onto my shelf!

Date Posted: 12/13/2011 8:58 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2010
Posts: 1,206
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@McKenna - I quit that one too!  Don't know if I made it that far!

Date Posted: 12/14/2011 9:36 PM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2009
Posts: 3,789
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Margaret, I just finished "Bastard out of Carolina".  A very enjoyable, engrossing read (though I could have literally screamed at the ending!).  Think my next book will be either Gods in Alabama or Comfort Me with Apples by Ruth Reichl.   

Am glad about the warnings about "Rebecca" and "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"; I don't want reading to be such a struggle!  I love it when a book grabs you quickly and makes you want to stay up half the night to find out what happens next.  ("Shadow of the WInd" was like that for me).  Not enough hours in the day for all the good books that I want to read!

 



Last Edited on: 9/11/12 2:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 12/15/2011 11:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2011
Posts: 47
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I have always tried to finish a book no matter how long it took to read it due to lack of interest until Twilight. I don't know what it is but I can't get past the first 10 pages! Bores me to death, no pun intended. I Like the movie, but I can't say about the book because I can't read it!  It's the only one I've put down in seven years.



Last Edited on: 12/15/11 11:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 12/16/2011 7:42 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2010
Posts: 1,206
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@ Karen – I am moving “Bastard” and “Shadow” to the front of my TBR.

@ Elizabeth – I was bored with the Twilight movies, can’t imagine reading the books!

@ Jennifer – I was so glad I read the “Rebecca” summary.  I was only 50 pages into my current book when they made a reference to “Rebecca” – not by name – that I would have NEVER gotten if I hadn’t read the summary. Ha!

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