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Topic: At what point do you give up on a book?

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Subject: At what point do you give up on a book?
Date Posted: 9/29/2008 1:43 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2008
Posts: 310
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I thought this would be an interesting topic..

At what point to do you say "This book is not holding my interest, so I'll stop reading it"?

Mine is around the 60 page mark.  If I find that I am skimming by that point, do not like the main character or plot development, I tend to put it down for good.  In other words, if the author has not grabbed me by then, it won't happen. 

I used to read every book to the end, but decided life was too short. 


Anybody else?

Kim (Mistry) -
Date Posted: 9/29/2008 5:39 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2006
Posts: 4,098
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I give it to about the 50 page mark. If it's not holding my attention, and I'd rather watch my DD's cartoons than read the book, I'm done.  I also believe that life is too short to read crappy books!!

Date Posted: 9/29/2008 5:42 PM ET
Member Since: 8/16/2005
Posts: 1,563
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50 pages, give or take.

Date Posted: 9/29/2008 6:05 PM ET
Member Since: 11/24/2005
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Last Edited on: 2/21/10 2:01 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/29/2008 7:46 PM ET
Member Since: 1/26/2006
Posts: 318
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I'd say around 50 pages too.  I just hate being a quitter though :)

Date Posted: 9/30/2008 8:49 AM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2008
Posts: 310
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So I am not the only one! 


What about series?  I think the only mysteries series I have read in my adult life and finished to the end was Anne Perry's William Monk books.  Usually I only read the first three books and then find my attention waning.

Anyone else?

Date Posted: 9/30/2008 12:06 PM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2005
Posts: 134
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I'll give a book at least 50 pages even though most times I already kind of "know" before that.  Other times I think I might keep reading but end up putting the book down and then just not bothering to pick it back up.  That just happened yesterday with an Iris Johanson book - I think I was over 100 pages into that one.

Last Edited on: 9/30/08 12:07 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 9/30/2008 4:14 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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I have a general 50-page rule, but sometimes I know well before then that I likely won't continue. Sometimes I'll go double that, but usually it's 50 pages, and I have NO qualms about not finishing a book I'm struggling through--there are just too many good books out there!

For series, I space my series reads out with several weeks or months between books as a general rule, so I don't get bored of them. I find that even those I really enjoy, I get tired of if I read them one after another. Usually I quit a series if the writing goes way downhill, if the author starts using ploys like sexual tension with two or three potential mates, stuff like that. Most of the time I'm willing to ride out the occasional series book that doesn't live up to the author's usual standard, but if I hit two bad ones in a row, I'm likely to at least delay reading more of the series for quite a long time. I have read many series and am caught up with quite a few, but I'm also in the middle of MANY series, too.


Date Posted: 10/16/2008 9:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/22/2008
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This is a great topic.

For me a book really needs to grab me in the beginning, or at least after the 1st chapter or maybe two.

I usually try to finish all my books. However, there were two "The Accidental" & "The Ugly Stepsister",  I'm not sure if that is the right name without looking it up. Anyway,  I read not even 30 pages of the Accidental, maybe even less and said, this is not for me at all.  Just a very unusual, strange  & weird plot for a book.  If there was a plot. Not like spooky strange, just the way the author wrote.  And the Ugly Stepsister, I really did try, and really can't remember the amount of pages, but I don't think it was even a 1/4 of the book, before that was put aside. What a drab and depressing book. And these books all had good ratings......So I must be the strange one.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I belong to a book club and those two were among the first, so I was having my doubts, but things have gotten 100% better. All the books now are so enjoyable. Most of the time I like them all and some are so, so. But none like the first two..

But I do have to laugh, because my friend felt the same way about The Accidental, and kept reading thinking it would get better or something was going to happen. Well, we all laughed about it.

So far I truly gave up on only two, but still have some unfinished ones to get back to, You know how it is when a special book you are waiting for comes in and you can't wait to read it, the one you are reading just has to wait.



Last Edited on: 10/16/08 9:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/17/2008 12:06 PM ET
Member Since: 7/29/2006
Posts: 1,366
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I too follow the 50 page rule. 

I almost gave up on the book I'm reading now, but it "turned around" for me at about page 45. It took that many pages to define it.  The mystery turned into a "historical, murder-mystery, love story!"  I'm enjoying it now.

My grandma would always read the last page of a book before she gave up on it.  When I give up on a book, I usually don't care enough about it to bother.

By the way, the book I'm reading is THE KNOWLEDGE OF WATER by Sarah Smith

Date Posted: 10/17/2008 3:40 PM ET
Member Since: 2/20/2007
Posts: 2,911
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wow- I am inpatient- if in the first 10-20 pages I am not hooked I give up- I will try the 50 page rule to see what I am missing!

Date Posted: 10/18/2008 8:47 PM ET
Member Since: 3/13/2006
Posts: 2,024
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I'll give up on a book at any time if it's just not doing it for me.  I stopped reading one after only half a chapter, and another I read 2/3 before becoming so bored that I put it down.  My feeling is, if reading is becoming a chore, it's not the right book for me.

Date Posted: 10/20/2008 6:00 AM ET
Member Since: 3/1/2007
Posts: 1,883
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For me I give it anywhere from 50 to 100 pages. It just depends on the book and if it's by an author I *usually* like.

Date Posted: 10/20/2008 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
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It's rare that I give up on a book.  However, recently I gave up on 2 books.  One was in the middle of chapter 2 and the other was in the middle of chapter 3.  Neither were mysteries, and in both cases, the person was letting their personal biases override the subject matter at hand.

Geri (geejay) -
Subject: Giving up on a book
Date Posted: 11/3/2008 3:21 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,094
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I'm with Kristen I and Sheryl B.  I don't often give up on a book but if I put it down and pick up another - don't get back to the first it's a goner no matter how far into it I am.

I currently have one that I've put down but it's nagging at me to pick it up again.  I'm fortunate enough to have a spot where the book can be put down and left alone for a short while.  If I don't get back to it - well, someone else might like it.   

Kat (polbio) -
Subject: Giving up on a book
Date Posted: 11/3/2008 8:03 AM ET
Member Since: 10/10/2008
Posts: 3,067
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My general rule is if the writing and the story line dont pick up by the 3rd chapter I give up. If the story line is good and the writing isnt the greatest I usually stick it out.

I am also guilty of putting down books and not gettng back to them because I picked up something else. I started the Thirteenth Tale and it was pretty good, but I put it down and forgot about it until someone on here just posted they had finished it.


Date Posted: 11/3/2008 9:50 AM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2008
Posts: 2,161
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Also around 50 pages- however, there were two books that I decided to plod through and see what happened and I am glad I did- the first Shirley Damsgaard "Witch Way to Murder"- the opening chapters of the book wanted to *really* get you to grasp how bitter and alone Ophelia was... I am very sensitive to the feelings of others, and found myself so anxious and tense it was difficult to read the book and I nearly stopped and would of missed a very enjoyable series! And the same with Kate Kingsbury's first "Manor House" mystery. Kingsbury wanted to illustrate what a snob Lady Elizabeth was so you could appreciate her gradual change through the progression of the books in her developing friendship with Major Earl and the results of living in an impoverished WWII community. However, Kingsbury made her so snotty I nearly put this book down as well and its now a favorite series for me!

Date Posted: 11/3/2008 7:39 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2008
Posts: 427
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I just had to make this decision this weekend on the 1st Chintz N China book by Yasmine Galenorn (Ghost of a Chance). I normally like paranormal mysteries but this one just wasn't my cup of tea. I hung with it til close to page 60 and then decided I had other things I'd rather read. When the main character's 7yr old was possessed by something in the house on page 32 I knew I probably wasn't going to get through the book.

Date Posted: 11/4/2008 10:08 AM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2008
Posts: 2,161
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Michelle, thats exactly why I was more comfortable sending you the book without a credit!!! I gave up at the exact same moment. The demon posession was treated as though it was completely normal, and then the next day her kids have a fight about the fact the daughter feels left out not having powers- what, she was sad she doesn't get possessed by demons? WHATEVER.

The Shirley Damsgaard books are so much better- and they remain cozy, too. :-)

Date Posted: 11/4/2008 12:55 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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I finish most of the books I start but there have been a few that I just gave away because I didn't like it.....so I mostly stick with the 50 page guideline

Date Posted: 11/4/2008 12:56 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2007
Posts: 5,526
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Shirley Damsgaard "Witch Way to Murder"- the opening chapters of the book wanted to *really* get you to grasp how bitter and alone Ophelia was

Leslie - I agree with you on this.....I was like, wow she is really bitter and will I be able to make it through the book?  But I did and am glad that I did and now I need to read the 2nd book!

Date Posted: 11/4/2008 1:31 PM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2008
Posts: 2,161
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Leslie, the second book is nothing like the first! Ophelia now has friends, and is learning to trust herself and others again. Much better, although I do understand why Damsgaard took the time to make us suffer with Ophelias "misery" for the first view chapters in the first book. Just an example of being glad I forced myself to plod through some tough chapters to see what happened. :-)

Date Posted: 11/8/2008 8:44 PM ET
Member Since: 10/14/2008
Posts: 25
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I quit when I fall asleep reading the same page...two nights in a row.


I did try The Yiddish Policemans Union...i tried and I tried but gave up halfway through it, maybe 150 pages but those last 100 pages were agony!