Do you read a specific amount of pages before giving up on a book you are not enjoying?
To read or not to read
Personally, I wouldn’t say I aim for a specific amount of pages before I decide to finally give up on a book. And I will say, I rarely give up on a book.
In my opinion, there are two crucial points where disinterest in a book might occur:
- The very beginning. And this would be the worst case scenario. If a book didn’t have the ability to hook me right from the start, then it will never leave the shelf, I am sorry. And I am sorry mainly because I know there are many books with great potential that fail at this basic principle. I am not counting this as “giving up” because I do read a few sentences (at least) before purchasing and deciding to start reading a book. Not only I will find out whether the book managed to have my instant attention, I will also judge the writing style and whether it suits me or not. In fact, in my book review submission form, this is a prerequisite. I request a sample of the first chapter from anyone who’d want me to consider their book to review, because this will highly increase my chances of picking a book I will enjoy. No guarantees of course, but anything that increases the chance of a pleasant reading experience + positive review is a win-win.
- Somewhere in the middle. When the initial plot simply loses its purpose, or gets lost into pointless minor or repetitive conflicts. This is impossible to predict, so I would say this is when most readers decide to give up on a book. Let’s say I might have picked a book which had all the potential in the world to suit me and my personal taste, and it ultimately goes in the opposite direction.
I think it’s important to mention these points, because even though there are never guarantees that you will love or hate a book, no matter how many reviews you have seen, or even how many other works of the same author you have read, there are tricks and methods we can use to our advantage when picking a new book. The art of choosing something that I will enjoy is a skill that I am working on – gradually.
Other reasons that might make you not enjoy a book can include “deception” – deliberate or not – which is what happens when you believe you are going to read about something, and then…you get something else! This can happen due to a badly done blurb, or even something as simple as an enticing title. And let’s not forget the book covers, the worst temptation of them all (raise your hand if you have ever bought a book solely based on its cover – I am raising mine).
I have read somewhere that we, human beings, have an issue with time which had already been invested. This can apply to any area of life, and also to books, of course. You have started reading a book, you have invested time in it. What to do if you are not enjoying it? Continue doing it, because time had already been, let’s say, wasted? Or simply give up on it, and saving that precious time reading or doing something you’d enjoy more?
I would love to read about everyone’s thoughts on this. How many chances – or pages – do you give to a book you are not enjoying?