I am very lucky to be currently reading The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin, with some very interesting books waiting in the wings! BUT, I did have a patch recently where I started a few books I just could not get into. It made me wonder what other book lovers out there feel about this. What do you do when you realize you are just not enjoying reading a book? Do you power through? Or give it up? I read for pleasure- and most of the time, reading gives me great pleasure. But I have at times had to put a book down and walk away from it. Sometimes, it is just not an interesting topic. Or it is TOO cookie cutter. There are so many books out there, I feel that I might be missing a great story by sticking with something I am not enjoying.
But this does have a big downside. I can recall many books that I started and stopped, only to try again and realize I loved them. This was true with two of my favorite books- The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and The Book Thief. I could not get into either at first. I put them both down for a long while, only to realize when I did read them in entirety that they were wonderful!
So, the question is to all book lovers-what do you do?
I do the same thing sometimes. I can’t get into a book so I put it aside and pick it back up at a later time and love it. However, I’ve also given up completely on some.
I have too. When I hear great things about it from numerous sources, I will try, but sometimes I just do not enjoy what I am reading enough to pull through. Sometimes I will pick up an old standby, just for the pleasure of reading- Harry Potter and Pride and Prejudice are my two go- to books.
I usually will set aside unless I have agreed to read and have a deadline. If I had force myself through a book I make sure to mention that in my review and I’m always honest and say what it was that made it such a chore. If I stop reading and have no intention of picking it up again I’ll review what I did read. I also will mention not being able to finish it. I like to be honest without being cruel
I have to really and I mean really either hate it or be bored stiff by it before I will refuse to finish it. Out of hundreds of books, this has only happened to me a few times. What I will do though, if I find it to be really not may taste, is skim the book until I get to something that I find is actually interesting. Either that or take a nap and try again later. 🙂
Unless I’m reading it for a review, or if it was highly recommended by a friend or relative, if I can’t get into a book at all, I’ll put it aside (“Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” was one of those).
I’ve always found it difficult to give up on a book and I’m not sure why.
I agree it is hard. Isn’t it funny how sue people will never put a book down, while others do it so easily? Then there are those really strange people who don’t read at all….
I actually wrote a post on this too!!! It’s called To Finish or Not to Finish? That is the Question!
I give books about 100 pages, and then if I still can’t stand them, I give up. I gave it a chance.
Although if it’s a classic, something I feel I have to get through, I’ll give myself an assignment. For instance, “read 3 chapters per day” or “read 50 pages per day.” Or I’ll reward myself. Like, if I read 2 more chapters, I can get up to do something fun.
That is a great policy! I should try something like that. I recently started a book that was so overblown and confusing, I found myself putting it down every other page and doing something else. That is usually the signal to myself that I should give it up.
That’s a fabulous “give up this book” signal!
The ‘try again later’ is a wise alternative to struggling. I find if I try to bulldoze through a book that’s not pulling me in, I avoid reading. Then I get crabby.
Totally agree! When a book is making me angry, need to walk away.
I usually stop reading if I’m not enjoying a book, with the mental caveat that I can come back to it later. (Unless my reasons for stopping are pretty dire, like if it’s racist or something.) This is one of the many wonderful things about book blogs — other bloggers will come back and remind you about books you’ve not finished, and you’ll think, well, hey, I should give that another try. That happened to me with Shirley Jackson, who’s now one of my favorite authors.
That is a great way to go about it. I totally agree that reading all the review blogs does remind me to pick up something I hadn’t been able to read yet-especially classics. I just read a great review for The Bell Jar-which has always seemed daunting to me. I am going to force myself to get it.
If a book does not inspire me to keep reading it I generally don’t keep reading. I may pick it up at a later date and try to read it again but generally I find it difficult to pick it up a second time if it has not captured my attention in the beginning.
Generally, if I’ve got to the 100 page mark and I’m still not enjoying it then I put it down. Sometimes I’m just not in the mood for that kidn of book and I might pick it up again in the future. Other times it really isn’t my cup of tea and I probably won’t ever pick it up again.
P.S. – Absolutely loved The Book Thief!
I couldn’t get into “The Book Thief”, yet I’ve been reading good reviews, so maybe I should give it a try again in like a year or so. To answer your question, I agree that you shouldnt waste your time on a book you are not enjoying when you could be reading something that’s more interest.
Me on the other hand, I’ve only had the experience twice. WIth The Historian – it was SOOOO lenghty and boring and it dragged on forever, I abandoned it and read another book. Read a few pages again and then abandoned it again…. I did finish it in the end, but it took me forever to do so. I found the story interesting, just not the read.
Currently I’m doing the same thing with another book 😉 However I know i will finish it eventually.
There are so many books on my reading list, if I start one and don’t enjoy it, I definitely move on. There are only so many years if a life and an endless supply of books to get through! However, I do find my reading habits change quite a lot with my mood, and if I’m quite stressed, I can’t concentrate as well, and so will stop reading one book in favour of something arguable “lighter”.
Just read Gold by Chris Cleave; absolutely wonderful, couldn’t put it down! Has anyone else read any of his? Incendiary, or The Other Hand? All fabulous!
I totally agree- your mood can affect what type of book you can read!
Gold sounds interesting- he also wrote Little Bee-a great book, but a very dark story
Hey, I may be totally wrong with this but I’m sure “Little Bee” and “The Other Hand” are the same book?! About the young girl from Nigeria? If it is, I agree, it’s an incredibly dark story, and “Incendiary” is equally as dark and morbid, but still as gripping. Loved them both!
I do this all the time. I’ll start a book, feel utterly bored, give up and come back to it later and suddenly the book is a lot more appealing.
I think the readers investment in the book depends on not only the book itself but also on the reader. If you’re in a miserable heart-broken mood, you’re less likely to enjoy a book about the perfect couple and their perfect relationship whilst the same book may be everything you’ve been looking for somewhere further down the line.
I try to pick books that I think match my current mood well. Unless of course it’s a book review request – then of course I do have the occasional moment where I really just read for the sake of finishing the book to review it.
If a book hasn’t grabbed me by about page 70 I give up on it. My rationale is that I have only so many years left on this planet and therefore hours available to read. Why waste the,on a books don’t like when there are hundreds of others I could be enjoying.
I agree 100%! Life is too short.