When it’s time to move on…

Every now and then you start a book and it just doesn’t sit right… something about it feels a little off. It could be the characters, it could be the tone or the way the author feels behind the words. Whatever the reason, you don’t like the book… but what do you do? Do you give up? Do you put the book down and return to it at a later date or do you leave it forever?

I have some serious abandonment issues. There are very few books that I have never finished and it all comes down to a touch of stubbornness. There are many books that I have persevered with and possibly liked by the end and there are many that I have struggled with and hated. I don’t like admitting to defeat! It is disappointing when a book holds so much promise and then… Nothing.

These days, I am getting better at putting a book down when we don’t connect but I still have trouble deciding at what point to give up. How do you do it? At what point do you put the book down? 50 pages? 100 pages? What is your stopping point?

What books have you had to give up on?

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8 thoughts on “When it’s time to move on…

  1. I pretty much know from the first few pages whether I am going to enjoy the book or not. These days I don’t persevere, there are too many other jewels for me to discover.

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  2. There was a highly praised debut novel I gave up on a few weeks ago. It seemed like an interesting premise which is what got me to pick it up, especially since it’s outside the genere I usually enjoy. The beginning started out strong and it was enough to keep my going. About half way through, it started to falter and I just couldn’t care about the MC anymore. I don’t care how her journey ends becuase it’s pretty darn boring. Nothing happens. There’s no conflict, not even between the characters. Things happen but nothing interesting happens. It’s all introspection and internal monologue. Lots of thinking and no doing. That’s what made me put it down. It’s well written but just not exciting enough.

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    • I am exactly the same! There is a very popular book that I cannot get past the first chapter. Sometimes I think they hype gets in the way of the actual story. We read it expecting something amazing without actually reading it for what it is.

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  3. If it hasn’t grabbed me in the first few chapters (however long they may be), I move on. There are too many great books out there on my to-read shelf for me to persevere with something I’m just not feeling. I’ve only just become comfortable with abandoning books though, I absolutely refused for years…until I started Law School! I realised there was too much other stuff to read and no where near enough time!

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  4. I really persevere because you just never know whats around the corner. It could be that you are not in the right space at the time you start the novel. For me this was made clear to me in my early teens via the following experience. I had saved my pocket money and bought the Leon Uris novel “Trinity” I was 14 and it was 1978. I had read one other of his books previously called “Exodus” and liked his style. “Trinity” is a novel about the Irish “Troubles” and the role of three families stretching from the 1840’s through to the Easter uprising in 1916. I struggled on two occasions to get through the first few chapter. My grandmother who was an English teacher saw me struggle and asked me why I felt frustrated with the book. I said to her it was too slow and I didn’t understand some of it. She said t me to put it aside for a few weeks and to also get some background factual information about the times. I did that and took it on my summer holidays where I could sit undisturbed and read it. On the third attempt I read the first 100 pages with out interruption and then it all clicked and I couldn’t put it down Read the whole 900 pages in 24 hours hardly slept and to this day that novel is one of my all time favourites. I reread it every couple of years. Because of that I give everything a few goes.

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    • It sounds like your grandmother was a very smart lady! That is a wonderful piece of advice which I think we could apply to many of life’s confusions, not just our book reading ones. I will also keep this in mind when I get around to reading Trinity!

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