This picture was taken last year and I remember two of them but the third one alludes me. One of them is the next book in a SF series, which I though I liked until I read this one, and another is first book in a popular fantasy series. It’s bugging me that I don’t know what the last one is but it doesn’t really matter for this post.
There is, I think, a ‘getting to know you stage’ with any book and putting those down can be a mixture of things; wrong book for you at that time; trying something different and not getting captivated; right author wrong book; an annoying voice; writing that jars (you could include ‘bad’ writing here but I’m not sure that actually means’); or a just sense of meh. But in that stage there is little commitment. The book has failed to woo the reader but nothing ventured is nothing gained.
Giving up on a book with 80 pages to go is quite a different matter I feel. I’ve just abandoned The Stress of Her Regard by Tim Powers. Now that thing is that the only reason I want to read to the end is that I have 75 books to read for my Goodreads challenge and I’m so close to adding another but I just don’t think I’ve got the energy left to finish it.
As a reader I’m very bad at forcing myself to read a book that I’m not enjoying. I can read a book that I find OK but it takes me weeks and weeks of picking it up and putting it down to finish it. And I start to resent it. I’m not sure that’s what reading should make you feel. In the case of The Stress of Her Regard as Tim Powers is playing with historical evens it feels like a series of men walking on stage with guns just to kick the action to the next section, which is an effort when the story feels liek it is being dragged along. It’s a shame as I was enjoying the ideas but sadly not enough.
Simon has definitely told me that life is too short to finish a book that you aren’t enjoying. And I do agree with him. I know people have 50 page, 80 page, or 100 page rules. Some like a terrier won’t let go of a novel no matter what.
So I’m curious, do you have a breaking point with a book? Would you stop 80 pages from the end? Once you start do you finish?