How Long Should You Give A Book Before Giving Up On It?

We’ve all been there. You start a new book, excited and expectant. This is going to be good. You start reading. You keep reading.

Ok, you’re only 25 pages in now – it’ll pick up steam. You read on.

Now you’re in 75 pages. Still not quite feeling it, but you have a feeling something big is about to happen.

Nothing happened. You’re 100 pages into this book and completely uninterested. You start to wonder if you should keep reading to see if something changes or if you should give up on the book. But, at the same time, you’ve made it this far, and you feel obligated to try to finish.

Time to weigh the options: continue reading a book you will probably end up not liking or admit defeat.

When to keep reading:

  • You sense a plot twist or major event is coming that will keep your interest.
  • You are enjoying even one character.
  • You have been recommended this book by at least three people.
  • You want to know how the story ends – even if it doesn’t really interest you.
  • You are stubborn and refuse to let a dull book defeat you.

When to give up reading:

  • You hate the writing style.
  • You can’t find one character you like or are even interested in.
  • You dread picking up the book.
  • You find yourself re-reading paragraphs over and over.
  • You have a stack of other books waiting for you to read.

You should never read a book out of obligation, but it is important to give a slow burning novel the chance to burn brightly. My rule of thumb – if you haven’t grabbed my interest in the first third of the book, I’m kicking you to the curb.

Are there any books you’ve given up on?

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Feature image via Deviant Art

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