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?

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