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When do you stop reading a book or turn off a movie?


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I'm the type of person who always likes to *finish* things. It kills me to stop in the middle of a book or a movie, even if I'm not enjoying it (even if I'm hating it, really). I keep thinking, surely this will get good. Or at least better...

 

Where have I read that you should get at least 50 pages into a book before deciding if you want to keep reading?

 

I've been going through some of the 'romance' book suggestions I got here a while back. I think I've read about 6, or so. I'm currently reading Scarlet Feather by Maeve Binchy. At page 65, I have very little interest in the book. But what if it gets really terrific after that?! Or what if I read all 538 pages and think, why on earth did I read that?!

 

ARGH! I have too many books on my want-to-read list to spend time reading ones that don't capture my attention in some way. How do I get over the reluctance to not finish something? Or should I stick with it?

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LOL. I thought you were going to ask about trashy books/movies. We have a three strikes and you're out rule.

 

Boring books & movies? Hmm. I give a book about 2 chapters unless I've heard wonderful things about it. A movie gets about 10 minutes and then I'm asleep. Doesn't matter if the movie is good or not. I just cannot stay awake during movies.

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Where have I read that you should get at least 50 pages into a book before deciding if you want to keep reading?

 

Nancy Pearl, author of Book Lust, suggests that if you are 50 or under you should read the first 50 pages, then make a decision to continue or not.

 

Ages 51-80, you should subtract your age from 100 and read that many pages before deciding to abandon a book.

 

Over 80, she gives you leave to judge a book by its cover -- you don't have any time to waste. :lol:

 

HTH

~Moira

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Nancy Pearl, author of Book Lust, suggests that if you are 50 or under you should read the first 50 pages, then make a decision to continue or not.

 

Ages 51-80, you should subtract your age from 100 and read that many pages before deciding to abandon a book.

 

Over 80, she gives you leave to judge a book by its cover -- you don't have any time to waste. :lol:

 

HTH

~Moira

 

Fun! I'm going to remember this.

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I usually give a book one or two chapters to interest me, and if I'm not sure I want to keep going I'll flip to the middle and read a few pages up to a chapter to see if that part of the story sparks any interest. I might happen upon a spoiler, but I figure I'm most likely not going to finish the book anyway. I can only think of one book when that caused me to stick with the book, though; usually if I haven't been drawn in by the first few chapters, there's no point in continuing. I rarely turn off a movie just because it's slow (unless it's a foreign film, since that requires much more of my direct attention) but have because of content.

Edited by WordGirl
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Where have I read that you should get at least 50 pages into a book before deciding if you want to keep reading?

 

 

 

I don't know, but that's dd's theory, too. So when I'm writing a story, she'll literally say at page 39 something like, "Mom, you've not got much time left to let me in on what's going on. Just a little more info is all I need..."

 

For me, well, I try for as long as I can tolerate (usually a bit more than 50 pages, although, sometimes just short). For movies? If I know its going to be a waste of 2 hours of my life, I just walk out or turn it off. I can usually tell within the first 20 - 30 minutes.

Edited by LauraGB
trying to fix the quotes
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This is funny that you bring this up now. I have been dealing with this issue. I have been struggling through some books lately and probably need to give myself permission to give up. Unfortunately, many of these are the "classics" that I missed in high school and college.

 

Dh and I were watching a movie the other night and we were ready to turn it off. It came highly recommended, but we were pretty turned off. Well, I just couldn't turn it off and tell my friend that it thought it was dull, so we stuck with it. I am so glad we did. Otherwise, I would have missed a hilarious, wet-your-pants seen that still makes me chuckle. Now, I don't think it is a great movie, but that one scene was worth 120 minutes of my life.

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With movies we do the Ten Minute Test. If we find it offensive and/or uninteresting with no redeeming qualities within the first 10 minutes, it gets the flick.

 

With books there is the 100 Rule. 100 minus your age is the number of pages an adult should read before dismissing a book if you haven't got into it by then. So I am 35, I should read at least 65 pages. The reasoning is, that as you get older, you are more able to make a quick judgment and have less time to waste on books that don't seem worthwhile. And if you are aged 100 or more and still reading, you are entitled to start judging books by their covers!

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If it's fiction (and there are classics in pop fiction, too. Every genre has their own) and you don't HAVE to read it, then don't. Really, life is too short. I can't make myself read OUTLANDER without wanting red ink all the adverbs. I will do it one day, granted, but not when I have other things I want to read waiting for me.

 

Reading and viewing for pleasure is such a subjective thing, and your taste just may not be the same. It's OK to toss it.

 

Classics? That's a horse of a different color. I make myself slog through them. Except Moby Dick. That's another one I'll eventually read, but I'll hate every minute of it.

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We tried watching a Clockwork Orange the other night. The senseless violence just disturbed me way too much, I gave it a few different scenes and just couldn't keep watching after I saw that the next one was leading to violence also. I really have no idea what it's about, LOL, I've just heard of it so many times I thought I'd watch it. Blech.

 

With books, I have rarely ever started a book that didn't interest me. I started one a few months ago and the first chapter was just too dry, with no point to it. I didn't get any further with that one.

 

So, with movies- if after a few scenes I just can't stand it then I turn it off. With books, if the first chapter is just BLAH then I put it down and find something else to read.

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With movies we do the Ten Minute Test. If we find it offensive and/or uninteresting with no redeeming qualities within the first 10 minutes, it gets the flick.

 

With books there is the 100 Rule. 100 minus your age is the number of pages an adult should read before dismissing a book if you haven't got into it by then. So I am 35, I should read at least 65 pages. The reasoning is, that as you get older, you are more able to make a quick judgment and have less time to waste on books that don't seem worthwhile. And if you are aged 100 or more and still reading, you are entitled to start judging books by their covers!

 

Still sounds arbitrary to me! I'm certain that I've read enough books to know whether I want to read something or not. (And that includes classics.)

Edited by WordGirl
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Classics? That's a horse of a different color. I make myself slog through them. Except Moby Dick. That's another one I'll eventually read, but I'll hate every minute of it.

 

Ha, you must be my kindred spirit. I did years and years of literature at school and college, and the only book on a reading list that I ever failed to get through was Moby Dick. :lol:

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Well, I'm a big reader. But, I've adopted another mantra (for books): "There's always an audiobook." As much as a I love to read, sometimes I just don't have the time to figure out if it's worth it. If I'm having a hard time reading it, I'll check it out from the library if it's a classic I know I want to try to become acquainted with. I'll listen to it while I clean or something (like, if it's really boring, it'll lull to me sleep :D).

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With books there is the 100 Rule. 100 minus your age is the number of pages an adult should read before dismissing a book if you haven't got into it by then. So I am 35, I should read at least 65 pages. The reasoning is, that as you get older, you are more able to make a quick judgment and have less time to waste on books that don't seem worthwhile. And if you are aged 100 or more and still reading, you are entitled to start judging books by their covers!

 

:lol:

 

I love this rule!

 

And I find that I do have less patience at age 50 than I did at 35 ... but I'm not so sure that the alleged wisdom speaking :)

 

Karen

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