Bookish Topic Tuesday – Giving up on Books

Bookish Topic Tuesday

Giving up on Books

So in light of this wonderful graphic from Goodreads I want to discuss when to give up on a book!

So the above infographic claims that 38.1% of people always finish a book, and I have to say, I’m one of those 38.1%! I always finish a book that I have started. But I’m not sure whether that’s more because I generally only start a book that I want to read anyway so I would want to finish it, or I’m just reading books that are good enough to want to finish? But I know I always finish the book. Correction, of course, I didn’t finish Mein Kampf, but I don’t really count that because that isn’t really a fiction book, and I think I can be excused for not finishing that drivel.

I think that generally I only pick up books that I want to read anyway, and if I’m not sure whether I want to read it, I read the blurb, and read the first few lines, and if I don’t want to read it, I won’t. And I tend to read books in a series I’ve already read, or from authors I love, so, that usually means I want to finish the book. But, having said that, I tend to just really want to know what is going to happen, so I’ll keep reading (or watching, I’m the same with TV, I usually want to keep watching a series, even if it’s starting to decline in quality as so many of them do. Also, I compulsively must watch the show in order, and I can’t miss a moment of the episode, I don’t want to see the second half of the episode without seeing the first!).

I’m really not surprised at the most commonly abandoned books, The Casual Vacancy is disappointing though, because it’s a good book, but people just couldn’t get over their assumption JK only writes things like Harry Potter, all they could think of was the magical story she had already written. Which is really sad, because I liked the book, and people shouldn’t judge the book on the fact it wasn’t like Harry Potter, because of course it isn’t! And The Lord of The Rings is an epic to get through, so no doubt people struggle.

The only other recent book in that top 5 that I want to read is Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but I’m well aware of just how intense the book can be in terms of rape and violence, so I’m reluctant to start it. I’ll get around to it, but I think I have to be in the ‘right frame of mind’ to get through it. As for the classics, I wouldn’t mind reading all of those Top 5, and Catch-22 is a book I want to do on this blog soon (most likely after JK new book, The Cuckoo’s Calling), and I might do Ulysses¬†and Moby Dick at some point (I have a strong aversion to Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged….).

What I find surprising is the second highest percentage of people abandon a book between 50-100 pages in! I would have thought more people would abandon in the first 50 pages, because by then you should have a pretty good idea of the book, but I guess lots of people just have a hope that the book might just get better. Again not surprising, is that the thing that turns people off the most is a slow, boring novel, and I have to agree. Reading for a lot of people is more about enjoyment, rather than having an insight into some deep and complex symbol of life. And there is nothing wrong with that!

So do you always finish books? What makes you want to give up, or keep going? And what books have you abandoned?


2 thoughts on “Bookish Topic Tuesday – Giving up on Books

  1. I don’t make it my policy to abandon books, either. The only ones I have left unfinished are ones I’ve borrowed from the library that I haven’t finished in time or ones I haven’t fully made a commitment to.

    I don’t believe in giving a negative review that says “I gave up after 100 pages I couldn’t stand reading this book so much”. I made a commitment to read Water for Elephants and Witch & Wizard to the finish, and I did – just so I could earn the right to hate them today.

    1. Ah that is a good enough reason, I try very hard to finish the library books I borrow, and end up extending their due dates!

      Hmmm I think that while you can’t give a complete review of a book by only reading a few pages, I think you are entitled to say that you didn’t like what you read of the book, it wasn’t interesting enough, so you gave up. I’m in the view that in a five star rating system, 0-1 stars is for the books you couldn’t finish because you didn’t like them enough, while 2 is saying you read the book but hated it, 3 is, that was alright, 4 is I really liked it, and 5 is I loved it.

      And I have to agree, that’s basically what I did with The Great Gatsby to be honest, I want to finish so I can ‘have the right’ to say I didn’t like it!

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