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Do you ever just give up on a book when you don't like it?


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#1 MomOfOneFunOne

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 08:54 AM

Is this just me getting old?

I was never one to quit a book, even a bad one. I don't have any kind of must-always-finish-a-book agenda or anything. I'd just always push through to the end. Maybe there was something of the optimist in me thinking/hoping that it would ultimately be redeemed by some greatness (or at least good) in the end.

Well . . . maybe I'm getting old or literary optimism is waning? I am reading two, TWO, books right now and I just don't even want to finish them. I actually have three going right now and that's typical -- four if you count the read aloud. One is a reread for lent and is just as great now as the last time I read it. The read aloud is great, too. But the other two are wasting my time.

One is supposed to be a mystery. I picked it up b/c I thought my daughter and I would like it. I can't recall the title just now but it's supposed to feature The Inklings (the writing club J.R.R. Tolkein and C.S. Lewis were in). We had learned about The Inklings and when I ran across the title, couldn't wait to read the book. But it is sooooo boring! I find myself wanting to throw it away but keep going back to it hoping that it'll redeem itself. It hasn't, though.

Ditto for The Princess Bride. I loved the movie and you know the book is always better, right? No. It has the feel of a book that was written after the movie/screenplay, probably was, and while it follows the movie almost perfectly, it's just lame. I keep thinking that it'll reach out and grab me but it just won't.

Why can't I just put them down and move on? Can you?

#2 Dobela

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 08:57 AM

I have been known to put them down, but not often. I just can't quit books easily either. What I will do instead is skip to the end so I can know how it ended without bogging down. Sometimes after reading the ending, it makes reading the middle easier.

#3 jenL

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 09:02 AM

I will often stop a book and put it aside if it's one that is notoriously good or worthwhile (recommendations, reviews, etc). Water for Elephants was my latest. Sometimes, I may not be in the right mindset for a certain book, but that doesn't mean I'm ready to give up on it. Revisiting it later helps.

Other times, if I'm really not able to engage, I will let a book go and not look back. It hasn't been often, but I can see it becoming something that I will do more in the future because I'm realizing my free time is so limited that I'd rather not waste it. You can't get the time back, and by pushing myself through a terrible book, I may be missing a great one.

#4 Mejane

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 09:19 AM

Yes. Life is short.

#5 ChristusG

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 09:21 AM

Yes....I refuse to read something that I'm not enjoying.

#6 ChristusG

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 09:22 AM

I will often stop a book and put it aside if it's one that is notoriously good or worthwhile (recommendations, reviews, etc). Water for Elephants was my latest.


I recently began Water for Elephants and sat it aside as well. I just couldn't get into it.....but I've heard great reviews for it.

#7 SailorMom

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 09:23 AM

All the time! Unless told otherwise by someone who has read the book (i.e., "keep reading, it gets better after the 5th chapter") I let a book go after about 100 pages. I read a whole lot of books, and I read very quickly, but life is too short to slough through books I don't like.

#8 LidiyaDawn

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 09:23 AM

I don't read books that I don't like - reading is my recreational activity.. why would I would do something for fun, in my spare time, that I wasn't enjoying??

#9 UnsinkableKristen

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 09:29 AM

Yep! There are too many great books to waste my time on crappy ones :D

#10 Garga

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 09:30 AM

I've been shocking myself by how many books I've stopped reading in the past couple of weeks. What's wrong we me? I never stopped a book before now.

Maybe there's something in the air.


ETA: I loved, loved, loved The Princess Bride as a book--just had to throw that in there....

Edited by Garga, 12 April 2011 - 09:40 AM.


#11 Cinder

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 09:31 AM

I've let some books go--mostly read-alouds that I've done with the kids. Most notable, for me, is A Horse and His Boy from the Narnia series. I tried a couple of times to finish but couldn't get through it--not on my own or with ds's--until dd wanted me to read it to her. I still didn't enjoy it but at least I got through it. Another memorable one is the Viking Quest series by Lois Walfrid Johnson. The first book--Raiders from the Sea--was in WP's Sea and Sky program when we did that. Well, we were very surprised to find that the first book did not have any closure. The story just ended with "Somewhere a dog barked." A cliffhanger. What!?! Ds's had been enjoying the story up to that time, so we had to get all the rest of the books so we could finish the story. Then around book 3 or 4 we just lost steam, set it aside, and didn't go back.

I don't read as many books just for myself so there aren't as many that I've just given up on. The last one I can remember letting go was Elizabeth Peters' Crocodile on the Sandbank. It just didn't grab me. I agree that there are so many other books to enjoy that I don't spend my time on one that I don't like.

#12 thescrappyhomeschooler

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 09:48 AM

Yep! There are too many great books to waste my time on crappy ones :D


:iagree:

#13 jujsky

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 09:51 AM

I'll usually give a book a decent effort, but I've adopted the attitude that there are so many great books out there I want to read, that I shouldn't waste my time on something I don't find enjoyable.

#14 KrissiK

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 10:16 AM

Yes, I do. Why waste time on something that doesn't satisfy? Sometimes I skip parts of a book that bore me, too. I've skipped huge chapters when I was reading "Lord of the Rings" series. I mean, who really cares about the history of those obscure little towns they walked through?

#15 3lilreds in NC

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 10:22 AM

I actually stopped reading the LOTR trilogy. :leaving:

I just couldn't take it. There are SO MANY WORDS! Even when the characters are speaking they are describing something. Gah! My dad says this is the beauty of Tolkien but it made me insane. The audio books are much more tolerable. Although, even those made me so sleepy in the car while I was driving I had to turn them off! :lol:

I agree, there are too many good books to waste time on the bad ones. Don't worry about it! Find something more enjoyable!

#16 Tarreymere

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 10:26 AM

If the writing is really crappy or the writer did very poor research I have been known to actually gleefully burn books, to spare any future potential readers!

#17 Night Elf

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 11:50 AM

Absolutely! I don't want to waste any of my precious reading time on books that I'm not enjoying. That sounds like a school assignment, to be honest.

When my children were younger, we would not finish every book either. Some books are just not worthy of my time.

#18 Night Elf

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 11:56 AM

Yes, I do. Why waste time on something that doesn't satisfy? Sometimes I skip parts of a book that bore me, too. I've skipped huge chapters when I was reading "Lord of the Rings" series. I mean, who really cares about the history of those obscure little towns they walked through?


Oh thank you!!! :lol: I'm using Literary Lessons from Lord of the Rings as my ds14's freshman english and I'm going crazy!! I wouldn't have finished this series if I was just reading it for fun. We have 3 and a half chapters left of the last book and we're DONE! YAY!!!! Okay, sorry, but I really am beyond ready for this to be over.

#19 JessReplanted

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 12:14 PM

Yes. Life is short.


:iagree:

#20 Stacia

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 12:31 PM

Yes, I have no problem dropping a book if I don't like it.

However, as has been mentioned already, sometimes I think it's a book I may like, but I'm just not the mood/mindset to read it. In cases like that, I usually quit reading, but write the book on a list of books I might like to try again later. I don't necessarily get around to ever reading those books, but I like knowing I've listed them as a possibility. :lol:

#21 littlebug42

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 12:36 PM

Yes, I do and I don't force my children to read anything they really hate either. My daughter hated Around the World in 80 Days. I did not make her finish it. We moved on to something she enjoyed more with just as much value. We may try again as she gets older, maybe not.

I have tried to read Tale of Two Cities on more than one occasion and just can't do it. I don't like Dickens actually and have had this experience with everything of his I have tried to read.

#22 Luckymama

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 12:50 PM

Yes, I do and I don't force my children to read anything they really hate either.


:iagree: but that only holds for dd11.

Ds is slogging through Dante's Inferno right now for AP Lit, poor guy.

#23 MindyD

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 12:54 PM

I haven't read everyone else, but I can tell you that I read The Princess Bride and pushed to the end because I kept waiting for it to be worth it. It wasn't. The ending was different from the movie in a bad way, and it was a complete waste of time. Don't bother, and don't feel bad about quitting it!

#24 newbie

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 12:56 PM

Yup, Phantastes....need I say more.

#25 Catherine

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 01:02 PM

I just let me son quit Wind in the Willows. I never liked it, neither does he.

#26 momofgmd

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 01:13 PM

I usually feel I must finish a book. There are very few books that I haven't finished. That being said, I do sometimes just skim, skip whole pages of dialog or other obvious sections and just get on with the book so I can call it done.

#27 Lady Florida

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 02:23 PM

If I'm reading for enjoyment and not enjoying the book, why should I finish it? I have no problem giving up on a book I don't like. As a PP said, life is too short.

#28 Jumping In Puddles

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 02:39 PM

I couldn't get into reading aloud The Frog Princess series. It came so highly recommended by a friend and her kids... but, I just couldn't get past more than 3 chapters. I didn't like the characters and the dialogue was so blah. As far as I can remember, this is the only read-aloud that I couldn't finish.

I told me kids they could read it to themselves but I'm getting another book to read aloud!

I have an easier time giving up on books that I read because I have nothing to lose! :tongue_smilie: I just got back from vacation and my beach book was The Gatehouse :ack2: by Nelson DeMille. It was the sequel to The Gold Coast which I enjoyed very much. I switched to Ashes and was not disappointed. :)

#29 ScoutTN

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 02:56 PM

Sometimes. Not often.
My time is valuable, not for wasting on a book I don't like (novel) or am bored by (non-fiction).

#30 Julie Smith

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 03:01 PM

I do give up books whenever I feel like it. If it's a non-fiction book, (I have a weakness for non-fiction) I will sometimes only read some of the chapters.

I so wish I could put down the book, "Five Little Peppers Midway". But it's the choice of my eldest, and my youngest is even paying attention. It's a audio book so I listen with them, but tune out as much as possible. I know it's a bad example. Please don't tell on me. :)

#31 Ellie

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 03:13 PM

Mostly I finish a book, especially one that has gotten good reviews, such as Girl of the Limberlost, because I keep thinking it will get better. But no. Girl of the Limberlost...that's several hours of my life I'll never get back. :glare: What was another one? ::thinking, thinking:: Ink something...Inkspot, Ink...drat, y'all know what it is. I wanted to like it, and I kept reading until the bitter end, but it was a dog. Ditto Redwall. :ack2:

I even made it through Jules Verne's Mysterious Island. What a weird book.

The only one I tossed was Wicked. :ack2:

#32 Hikin' Mama

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 03:14 PM

I love to read, but there are too many things to fill my day. If I'm not loving a book, I quit reading it.

#33 Dotwithaperiod

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 03:45 PM

Sure! Life's too short to waste it on something like that.

#34 Quill

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 04:00 PM

There are enough wonderful, compelling books in the world (too many, even) for me to waste precious reading time ploughing through something I don't like. I usually try to give it a good chance to redeem itself, but if I don't like it, I just quit and move on to something that matters to me more.

#35 Jumping In Puddles

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 04:23 PM

What was another one? ::thinking, thinking:: Ink something...Inkspot, Ink...drat, y'all know what it is. I wanted to like it, and I kept reading until the bitter end, but it was a dog. Ditto Redwall. :ack2:


Ah, Inkheart or Inkspell? I was going to download that as an audiobook. I think I'll check it out from the library first so I don't waste my money! :eek:

#36 rwjx2khsmj

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 07:35 PM

I've always been an advocate of, "You finish what you start." (Be sure to hear that in my dad's voice.) When I was about 30 I amended that to "Finish what you start unless you realize that what you started is a complete waste of your time and energy." I like that much better.

It works for books and so much else.


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