Thursday, June 20, 2013

When to throw a book off the wall?

This is a difficult post for me because I've reached that time in my life where something has changed.

Up until this year I was very proud to say that I've never let a book beat me.  Even if I've hated every word I've read every book I've ever picked up to the end.

I always believed I shouldn't form an opinion until I get to the very end.

But - you know what?  I'm getting too old for that now!

A number of my friends have always said they give a book a few chapters or a few pages, then give up if it hasn't captured their attention.

Now, I am a book fiend.  My house could probably be defined as a library.  Barnardos love me.  I keep them in business with the amount of books I donate.  When I'm old and grey, the district nurse won't be able to open the door with the amount of books I'll have.

And let's not even start on the Kindle....

I even keep excel spreadsheets of all the books that I've read, along with a pile of notes on each one about what I liked and what I didn't like.

But recently I started reading a book.  And for someone who loves reading, I would have done anything to avoid reading the rest of that book.  Even the house cleaning.  Even the ironing.  Even the garden!

So it was time to give in gracefully.  And since then, I've done it another twice.  If a book hasn't made me want to keep reading by the end of chapter three then it gets resigned to the Barnardos bag.

And instead of the strange twitchy feeling I thought I would get, I've actually felt quite liberated!  It leaves me free to move on to something that I do love - something that will keep me up late at night turning pages.

So how long do you give a book before you give up?  Or do you read them all to the end?


  1. Well, perhaps fortunately can't remember the titles but there have only been a couple over many years I've actually not even flipped through pages to the end. There have been also a couple of books I disliked so much they ended up in the garbage bin and not at a charity shop - or Op (short for Opportunity) shop as we call them in Australia. I have to add though that because I don't like some heavy sex scenes I end up often just turning pages to skip them and when too many in a book feel like I've wasted my money! Means I really hestate to buy a book by that author again.

  2. I used to read through to the end with every romance. The reasoning was, "I paid for it, so I'm going to read it to the very end."

    After I turned 50, things changed for me. My mindset became, "Time is precious, and I'm not wasting it on a book I don't enjoy." When I set a book down and come back to it, but can't remember the storyline (or care), I know its days are limited. I continue reading, but if I still don't care, I fast-forward to the last 30 pages or so to get my HEA, and THEN I throw it across the room (if I still hate it). I do not pass this book on to friends like I do with my other books; I donate it to charity.

  3. Hi Mary I'm not naming certain books either! I'm interested that you put the ones you hate in the garbage and not the charity shop. I've thought about it but decided I'm just not that author's reader and someone else out there might be.

  4. I feel the same Laney, if I don't care about the characters I don't really care how the story unravels. This is all a revelation for me but I'm enjoying it!

  5. I used to persevere, but don't bother anymore. If things don't compel me to read on, then I consign it to a charity shop bag, or in the case of 'Life of Pi' which I downloaded to my kindle app on iPad, I pressed delete.

  6. Believe me, those couple of books were only fit for the trash heap, Scarlet. I've read some pretty explicit sex scenes in books but these were filth. However, other books even if more explicit than I am comfortable with or dislike for whatever reason do go to op shops

  7. Hi Nick, I'm glad you do the same as I do and consign them to the charity bag. Haven't read Life of Pi but one of my friends raved about it. I'm very much of the opinion 'each to their own'. Not every reader will be my reader and the same applies when I'm reading books.