Musing Mondays – Stick Or Kick?

01Jun09


Today’s
MUSING MONDAYS post is about sticking with it… How much time (or how many pages) do you give a book that you aren’t really enjoying before you’ll set it aside? If you’re reading it for a book group discussion, or for review, will you give it more of a chance then, say, a book you’re reading for your own interest? 

One hour two minutes to go, before I lose this opportunity to muse on Monday! Right, I’m going to race this one through…

It’s an interesting question, because, I normally hate leaving books half-finished. No matter how ‘boring’ or ‘dull’ they seem, I figure they’ll come good, especially if they are prize-winners, or if they’ve come highly recommended from a friend/fellow-blogger. However, just last week, I discarded Anne Enright’s The Gathering at 89 pages, just because it seemed like pointless tripe, that I really couldn’t be bothered with. I am still struggling to understand how and why that poor excuse for a book won the Booker. 

Not really, I don’t think. At the end of the day, I want to enjoy reading, and not feel as though it’s compulsory to read. If I’m not enjoying the book, and it looks like the odds of the book improving are near negligible, with a tinge of remorse I’ll place it at the back of my bookshelf. At the very back, so that I don’t have to see it every day, thereby escaping that pang of guilt. Sneaky, huh? I’ve read about thirty-five books this year, and just shelved one, so… that’s a reasonably okay statistic, in my humble opinion. 

How about you? Do you tend to give up soon, or, do you wait for the book to become better? Ever been a time when you’ve given a book a chance, and felt severely let down?

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4 Responses to “Musing Mondays – Stick Or Kick?”

  1. 1 Yvonne

    I tend to finish almost everything I start, but I can see why it would be better to just set a book aside, if I wasn’t enjoying it. This is supposed to be fun, not an obligation. Although, if it’s a review book, I do feel obligated to finish it.

  2. 2 Nise'

    I give it 50 pages. Last year I attempted The Gathering because is was a prize winner, it was not grabbing my attention and was due back at the library and I have not (and probably won’t) checked it out again.

  3. I’ve just given up one book so far but I feel that I should not force myself to read a book I don’t like. It tends to take away my passion for reading for awhile when I do that.

  4. 4 uncertainprinciples

    @Yvonne : Yep, can see why review books should be finished. It can be a right pain when the books aren’t great. Usually, when I ‘put a book aside’, I pretty much know I’m never going to pick it up again. If it didn’t grab me the first time….

    @Nise’ : The Gathering… was not enjoyable. I pushed myself beyond the first twenty pages, but I knew I just wouldn’t enjoy it. I guess the number of pages boils down to the book, and the writing style. Like, if I really like an author, I’ll always try reading the whole book, instead of dropping it like a hot potato. However, if it’s a new author, I might be a little more hasty.

    @Ladybug : I know what you mean. And then you just end up feeling cheated and disgusted. It’s not the best feeling in the world, is it?


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