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Topic: When Enough Is Enough

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Bruce -
Subject: When Enough Is Enough
Date Posted: 10/11/2010 2:29 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2008
Posts: 3,412
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I've been scanning through the forums and noticed that many people give up on books they don't like while others slog through to the bitter end.  What do you do when you find that you don't like a book? When is enough enough? I give a book 100 pages (most of the time ;) ) and if I still have no interest at that point I put it down and go to the next. What do you do?

Date Posted: 10/11/2010 2:50 PM ET
Member Since: 6/5/2007
Posts: 2,507
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I tend to be a slogger, I keep trying to learn, but have a hard time turning of the voice that says, "what if it gets better?" 

Date Posted: 10/11/2010 3:16 PM ET
Member Since: 12/10/2005
Posts: 2,851
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I go back and forth, depending on my mood. Lately, I've been the complete opposite of a slogger, sometimes giving a book only 50 pages before giving up.

Date Posted: 10/11/2010 3:17 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
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I'm a slogger as well. A book has to be REALLY bad for me not to finish -- I think it's happened only twice. But,  when I come to the end of a book that should have been tossed, I'm invariably annoyed with myself for wasting precious reading time.

Date Posted: 10/11/2010 3:33 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2008
Posts: 10,215
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I am now old enough to realize that I don't have time for books that just aren't entertaining or informative for me - there are just too many books out there!  Usually I can determine that by the first 50 pages. Fortunately, I can oftentimes determine that just by reading the blurb! I don't feel guilty about it at all: "One man's trash is another person's treasure" and I believe that applies to books. What I like someone else may hate and vice-versa!  wink

Date Posted: 10/11/2010 3:33 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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It can be anywhere from page 50 to 100 and one time I was almosts done and I tossed it. Most of my books come from the library so I don't feel as bad setting one aside if I realize it isn't working for me. I do try harder to perservere with books I've won at Goodreads/LT or Amazon vine since I have to review them, but there have been exceptions. Too many books, too little time.

Date Posted: 10/11/2010 4:59 PM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2009
Posts: 6,035
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I am Deb's twin.

Date Posted: 10/11/2010 5:01 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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I am Jeanne twin.laugh

Date Posted: 10/11/2010 5:33 PM ET
Member Since: 11/11/2005
Posts: 5,238
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I've heard the arguments in favor of the 50 or 100 page rule mutlple times.  Life is too short for bad books.  There are hundreds of thousands of other books out there to read.   Yada yada yada.

But my personal reading belief is a little like the legal system.   Books are innocent until proven guilty.  I would rather slog through one or two bad books a year than stop reading a book at 50 pages that might have turned out to be one of my favorite books.    This espcially applies to books that require more time to get into or have more exposition.

That's not to say that I haven't given up on a few books.  I have.  But I don't give up easily.   And I can count on one hand the # of books I've tossed before the 50 page mark - and that was because I didn't like - no, make that hated - the writing style, which I knew wasn't going to change.

One last comment:  Sometimes there is more satisfaction for me in complaining about bad books than in reading a book I love.   Don't know why, but it's true LOL.

Date Posted: 10/11/2010 7:24 PM ET
Member Since: 7/15/2008
Posts: 4,035
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One last comment:  Sometimes there is more satisfaction for me in complaining about bad books than in reading a book I love.

I am Lynne's twin devil

Bruce -
Date Posted: 10/11/2010 7:48 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2008
Posts: 3,412
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Lynne, I agree that writing style has a lot to do with deciding whether to invest time in a book. I've had some books recommended to me that sounded great but I just couldn't get past the writing.

Date Posted: 10/11/2010 9:02 PM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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I guess I'm triplets with Jeanne and Letty 'cause I'll ditch a book in a hurry if I'm not loving it. I bet I've started and ditched at least 40 books just this year. I usually know pretty quickly if a book is not for me, but I'll also toss aside a book right before the end if I'm not liking it any longer. Sometimes, I'll save the book if I think I'm just not in the right mood for it, but I usually get rid of them.

I don't go by a 50 or 100 page rule though; I just stop reading when I can't bear to pick the book back up. ;-)

Date Posted: 10/11/2010 9:40 PM ET
Member Since: 9/21/2006
Posts: 2,788
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Deb & Christa triplet here.  i dont think i have ever not finished a book even if it took me many months of picking it up, putting it down, picking it up, putting it down......

Date Posted: 10/11/2010 9:54 PM ET
Member Since: 1/9/2006
Posts: 760
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I used to be a slogger, but the older I get the less I'm willing to keep on hoping it gets better.  Typically though, I'll just put it aside for a later time.  It has to be really bad or totally not to my taste for me to decide to never give it another chance.  I go through phases where I read different sorts of books, so I just may not be in the mood for a particular book.

 

How's that for a non-committal rambling answer?

Date Posted: 10/11/2010 9:54 PM ET
Member Since: 1/9/2006
Posts: 760
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I used to be a slogger, but the older I get the less I'm willing to keep on hoping it gets better.  Typically though, I'll just put it aside for a later time.  It has to be really bad or totally not to my taste for me to decide to never give it another chance.  I go through phases where I read different sorts of books, so I just may not be in the mood for a particular book.

 

How's that for a non-committal rambling answer?

Date Posted: 10/11/2010 9:58 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 1,588
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I'm a slogger.  Partly because its in my nature, partly because I read on the train.  So when my choice is stop reading and stare out the window, or keep slogging, I usually slog.  There are only a handful of books I haven't finished, and they are only when I'm POSITIVE it won't get better. That usually involves not liking the writing and it always involves spot reading a few pages here and there including the end, to see if anything else peaks my interest and then I can continue.  Sometimes it does.  Come to think of it, there's only been one book I haven't finished since I joined PBS 14 months ago.



Last Edited on: 10/13/10 9:38 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/11/2010 9:58 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 9,174
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LOL with Melani.

Date Posted: 10/12/2010 1:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2009
Posts: 298
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I've become a bit of a slogger again.  I have rarely used my 50-page rule this year.   If there are qualities in a book I like, even though there are perceived failures in other areas, I forge on.  I generally like to give an author a chance, even if I'm left dissatisfied at the end.



Last Edited on: 10/12/10 3:01 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/12/2010 1:36 PM ET
Member Since: 7/13/2005
Posts: 5,201
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Once reading the book becomes more of an obligation than fun, is when I quit and move on to something else.

Date Posted: 10/12/2010 2:47 PM ET
Member Since: 4/23/2008
Posts: 1,755
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I'm a Deb, Christa and Blubonnet quadruplet.  I've almost never bailed on a book, and I don't think I've ever been rewarded for slogging through one I didn't like initially.  I'm a glutton for punishment I guess, not to mention and OCD rule follower.  I figure if I start a book, I'm committed.  I need to get over that.

Alice J. (ASJ) - ,
Date Posted: 10/13/2010 9:11 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2009
Posts: 39,340
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I try to stick with my 50 page rule sometimes it slips to a hundred pages. Too many good books out there to read terrible ones. I tossed one yesterday.

Janet Evanovich's Wicked Appetite - It may be the worse book I have ever read. It can fight it out with Cormac McCarthy's The Road.

Alice

Date Posted: 10/13/2010 9:18 AM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2008
Posts: 772
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I don't do a firm page count, but more of a percentage of the book, usually one-third. If a book isn't grabbing my interest by then, out it goes. That way it gives the larger books some more time to find their footing, if they have it. A couple books I've ended up skimming this year, and I wondered why I even wasted the time to do that. But I tend to read most of the books I start. I toss a very very few.

Date Posted: 10/13/2010 10:50 AM ET
Member Since: 10/29/2005
Posts: 3,823
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I do the same as Karla with long books. They always seem to have a longer "set up" time, so I give them more pages before ditching. Lots of long, doorstopper books that I was tempted to give up on have turned out to be great reads, especially when they are the first book in a series.

 

Hi, Peggy! I wanted to give you a shout-out because I haven't seen you down here in a long time. I've always loved your sig line. :-)

Date Posted: 10/14/2010 3:42 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 1,588
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That IS a fun sig line, Peggy.  I always "hear" it in Sean Connery's voice, for some reason, and it always makes me smile. :)



Last Edited on: 10/14/10 3:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/14/2010 9:40 PM ET
Member Since: 3/31/2006
Posts: 28,488
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I have 2 methods.  If it's a new author, I give 50 pages or less.  If it's a beloved author, I will go farther depending on how much torture it is.  I always think that it might get better because I like the author.

But, I won't slog through.  I can't tell pretty much in the first couple of chapters if a book is for me.

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