Thursday 19 June 2014

Thursday Thoughts (6) - Giving up on Books


Welcome to my new Weekly post - Thursday Thoughts.

This is going to be a weekly discussion post that I hope will get all my blog readers commenting and giving their opinion. I will pick a topic and write how my thoughts and feelings about it and then hopefully all you lovely readers will leave a comment below with your own opinions.

The only rule I have is that everyone is respectful of each other's opinions, there is no real right or wrong here, this is a chance to experience a topic from someone else's perspective. Please listen to each other and be nice.

If you wish to take a more active part in this discussion and make your own blog post about the topic, I will create a Linky list below that you can link your post to. If more and more people take part - the bigger and better it will become.

Some discussions will be light and silly, others will be more serious but they will all be about books and book related things.

So come on everyone, pull up a chair and lets hear your voice.

This weeks topic is:

Are you done with that? Giving up on Books

As readers and bloggers we come across hundres and hundreds of books. If you are anything like me your To Be Read pile just grows and grows. For every one book I finish another 3 get added to the list. So this is where you have to question whether or not you read every book cover to cover. 
For years I would persist with a book and read every word, even if I wasn't enjoying it. I would tell myself that it would get better and I would regret not finishing it, that maybe I was missing out on something if I were to give up. I look back at that time and think about how much time I wasted - how many other books I could have read in that time and enjoyed.
For one thing I believe we all read quicker when we are enjoying a book, we get lost in the pages and the words just fall off the page and into our minds, transporting us to this other world, but if we are struggling with a book every word seems to drag and it gets very hard to become lost in that world. 
Now I have been blogging for a few years and my TBR pile is hundreds of books high, I have come to the conclusion that giving up on a book is ok, you can put it down and move onto something else and there is absolutely no problem with that. No consequences. If you feel inclined at a later time you can always go back or you can say goodbye to it forever. 
Which then brings me onto the next part of the discussion - how much of a book do you read before you give up. Everyone i have ever discussed this with has come up with a different answer. My policy is 100 pages - I think this is a good amount to give me a reasonable feel for the story, it's given the book a fair chance to hook me in and given me enough of an idea of where the story could be going and made me feel like I have given it a fair chance. After that if I am not hooked then I give it up. The only exception to this is if the book is only 150 or so pages, and then I figure I might as well finish it regardless as I am so close. Likewise if the book is massive, say over 700 pages I tend to skip a few chapters - about 50 or so pages and then try to read a bit more, but obly rarely will that make me want to read more, very often the 100 pages has been a good enough indicator and I feel secure in my choice to put the book down and walk away.
So I want to know if you give up on books or if you have to see them through to the bitter end. And what is your cut off point, when do you stop reading? 
And lastly would you ever go back to a book you have given up on at a later date. Recently for me I gave up on 'City of Lost Souls' by Cassandra Clare, couldn't be bothered with it - it was irritating me. But I ended up having to go back to it for a review request and after a 2 week break I actually found myself enjoying it. SO in that case having a break from the book and the series did me good and let me come back to it fresh and actually get something out of it. It only happens rarely, but it can happen.
I want to know what you all do, share your opinions. :D

Next Weeks topic will be - The Importance of Reading to Children and Babies


Mara A. said...

As a blogger, I find myself constantly struggling with the question of "do I put this book on my DNF list?" Because I feel like it's my duty to finish all of the books I read, good or bad, so I can share my opinion on them with my followers. And somehow, if the book is bad, then that gives me more of a sense of obligation to finish. I don't write reviews for books I DNF. But, like all bloggers out there, I don't have time to wade through garbage; my TBR pile is putting Mount Everest to shame as the highest peak! I think the way I will solve it is create a sometimes post for a list of titles that I DNF'd each month, with a short summary of why. I need to put books aside more often than I do; I simply must. Sometimes I will go back to a DNF book. Every time I've done this, I have actually ended up liking the book later on! So if I DNF a book, that doesn't always mean I'll never ever read it again. I generally give a book up to 100 pages to impress me; sometimes 50, depending on how low my opinion already is. Though I have discovered with some books that 100 pages isn't enough. ;)

madders ahatter said...

I used to have a 'I've started so I'll finish' philosophy when I was younger. I hated giving up on books and felt it was rude to quit. Also, since I like my money's worth, I didn't like not finishing a book I'd bought. Kind of like not wanting to walk out of a terrible movie at the cinema.
However, now I'm older, I'm more keenly aware of how finite my time is. I don't have enough to waste on stuff I'm not enjoying. And there are WAY MORE books in the world than I could ever hope to read. Why neglect those I might enjoy for one I'm not.
I don't tend to set a page limit as such. I'll keep going as long as there is the slightest spark of interest in wanting to know what happens, or the vaguest feeling like I care about any of the characters. Once those things vanish, I'm outa there. I wouldn't ever quit on the first chapter though. I'd make sure I'd given it a truly fair trial.
Sometimes it takes longer than others.
I recently read the Steig Larrson 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' trilogy. The first book is really tough going to start with. Lots of backstory and convoluted flashbacks, lots of characters introduced to get your head around. I came very close to quitting. Two things kept me going. I got it on audiobook which helped to get the names straight and understand the pronunciations. The other was encouragement from someone who had read them and said they got better. Since this was a person whose opinion I trust, and who tends to like the same things I do, I persevered. I'm glad I did.
I guess I'm saying that if you are struggling with a title, it MAY be worth checking some reviews. Seeing what other people see in the book - or not - may help you decide if it is right for you. [I never do this before I start as I don't want preconceptions. It is only if I'm wavering]