Thursday, 20 February 2014

When Should One Quit Reading THAT Book?

So, earlier this week, I started listening to an audiobook that I have heard very positive things over - Apple Tree Yard by Louise Doughty. Yesterday, after listening to under 3 hours of this audiobook (3 hours out of around 13 hours), I had to stop listening to it. I COULDN'T BEAR IT ANY MORE!!! I disliked the writing style, have serious hatred for the characters and, for a reason I don't understand, I didn't warm to the narrator.

And because of this decision, I began thinking about all the books/eBooks/audiobooks I have stop reading within a few chapters within 2014. And I have counted 1 true book which I have stopped reading because of hatred: Apple Tree Yard for the reasons I stated above (oh, believe me, I could easily go on a rant about that - just ask my other half). For the books I started but I wasn't in the right frame of mind to read, I have counted 3/4 (Frostbite by Richelle Mead, The Dead Girls' Dance by Rachel Caine and Witches of East End by Melissa de la Cruz from the top of my head [as I can't remember the fourth]) and there was one I nearly gave up on but Twitter ordered me to keep going (thanks for that, Twitter. Throne of Glass was ok once it got going. Let's hope Crown of Midnight is better than the first, like everyone seems to be saying...)

But that got me thinking: how long do you stick with a book before you stop reading it? Do you struggle on with a book even though you seriously hate/dislike it? Do you give yourself a page mark - say page 100? - before you decide to keep going or stop? Or do you do what literary agents do which is read the first 3 chapters and take it from there?

And what do you do with eBooks? Do you give it a certain percentage (20%? 25%? 15%?)? And then what do you do? Do you create a folder for those unfinished stories?

Leave what you do with books as I am really intrigued over what everyone does...


  1. I had this very recently and took to Twitter to ask peoples opinions as like you I find it really interesting. I personally set myself a page marker between 60 and 100 and if I can't get into it by then I will give up. As for ebooks I go for around 30% but that depends on how long the book is.
    Life is too short to read books you don't enjoy!

  2. A tough one. I used to try and struggle on with a book, but then I looked at how many books I have that are yet to be read. I try to give the book a quarter of the book. I don't tend to review books I don't finish. Maybe I'm missing out on something... not sure, but usually I have a look at Goodreads and see what friends thought, if they seem to have liked it or they mention it's picked up, I won't give the book away/delete it. I'll keep it and retry at some point.

  3. Great post, made me smile. I don't really have a rule, but I refuse to finish a book I am hating, I used to persevere and push on through - I think we are hardwired to! - but now I just stop. I will probably though give most books 30-50 pages, because some decent books *can* take that long to get going. Still, I couldn't read Before I Go to Sleep, the thriller that everyone was raving about last year, it did nothing for me and I gave up.

  4. Usually, I'll limit myself to fifty pages, and if I really hate a book after that, I'll stop. Sometimes, though, I don't feel like that's enough of a chance for a book, and I'll keep reading it. More often than not, I still wind up hating the book, and wish I hadn't read more/finished it, but every now and then, I end up loving the book and just needed a little extra time to really get into it.

  5. There aren't many books that I haven't finished, but I think I gave up on them quite early on. I tend to persevere with most books, even if I'm not really getting into them. A book has to actively annoy me for me to put it down - there has to be something irritating about the style or the point of view.