From being a very young reader, I was always under the impression that when you started a book, you read it through to the final page. I’ve read hundreds of books in my 30 odd years that I just didn’t enjoy but I still struggled through to the end. I don’t know what I thought would happen if I just gave up and set the book aside….Maybe a bolt of lightening from the God of books? Anyway, for whatever reason, I ALWAYS finished every book that I started.
Then, about 8 months ago, I was reading a book and really struggling to get through it. I set it on my knee (for the hundredth time) with a sigh and looked over at my six foot bookcase which was stacked with books that I still had to read and I decided to rebel. Why should I make myself unhappy for another couple of days, reading a book that I clearly wasn’t enjoying and just couldn’t get into, when I had so many more books waiting for me? Wasn’t reading supposed to me a hobby, a pastime, a fun thing?? I closed up the hated book and set it on my shelves to try again another time. I’m not unfair, the author has put an awful lot of blood, sweat and tears into their book so it’s only fair that I give them a fair chance and maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for this particular book at this time. I then started a new book and, guess what? No bolt of lightening, nothing. I’d been stressing myself out for no reason.
Since then, I don’t waste time struggling with a book that I’m not enjoying or can’t get “into”. I don’t give up in the first few chapters, I always give each book a fair chance because, let’s face it, sometimes the good stuff doesn’t start at the beginning of the book but some slow-starters turn out to be wow! when you keep reading.
My other rule is that, if a book is a did-not-finish, I don’t review it. I don’t think it’s fair because I’d be judging a book on reading just a half or two thirds of it. It wouldn’t be fair to the author. The only books that I now read in their entirety, even if I’m not enjoying them, are books that have been sent to me for review. I read ARC’s and review books from start to finish so that I can give a clear review of what I thought. I don’t count these books as reading-for-fun (although I usually DO enjoy them!), more like a reading-for-work so it doesn’t matter what my thoughts are while reading, I read the whole book.
What about you? Do you continue to read a book to the bitter end, even if you struggle with every page? Or are you a rebel like me who thinks that there are just too many other books out there that still need read and why faff about on this one that you’re not enjoying? I’d love to know what you all think!