When Do You Stop Reading a Book?

Josie Leavitt -- July 16th, 2012

I was at the gym last week and my trainer confessed that she was getting angry with her book. I suggested that maybe it was time to just put the book down and start something else. She said that unless the book was absolutely horrible, she finished it. Every time. I have never understood this philosophy.

I read too many books to feel compelled to finish all of them. I give most books a fair shake, at least a hundred pages, unless it’s truly awful. I define truly awful as something that is poorly written, when all I can see are the errors. I don’t even mind reprehensible characters, as long as the writing flows well. There are books that will take me literally months to finish because I don’t want to spend too much with it, but I’m still curious about how it ends. I will often start another book while I trudge through the other book. This reading pattern happens with mysteries.

Sometimes I’m just not in the mood for a particular book, even though it is exactly the kind of book I generally enjoy. For whatever reasons, our reading tastes are very particular and all readers know instantly if a book just isn’t right for them, right now.¬†Books that immediately feel like the wrong fit don’t even get read more than 10 pages before they are returned to the bedside stack for a better time.

I’m curious, what makes you want to stop reading a book?