Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How many pages does it take?


So, I feel guilty when I can't finish a book (like the one above). I agonize over how many pages to give it before I finally toss in the towel, so to speak. I find myself thinking, "I'll give it ten more pages then make a decision about abandoning the book." If people I respect have liked the book the decision is even more difficult for me.

Once I decide to give up on a book and move on to another one I feel better and then I realize that the guilt is (mostly) gone once I've made the decision.

How many pages or attempts do you give a book that you aren't enjoying?

If you keep going? What motivates you? A challenge, a free book from a publisher,
a friend's insistence?

8 comments:

Jennifer (Crazy-for-Books) said...

I've actually talked to some friends online and they said it took a while to get into this particular book, but it really picked up and ended up being really good. I haven't read it, so I don't know!

I usually give a book 75 pages or so to hook me, but if I'm just not feeling it, then I won't even wait that long. I'll usually try it again another time because I might not be in the mood to read that genre at that time.

Kelsey said...

I probably give it 100 or so pages before I throw it. I DO feel guilty, like you do, about setting it down. I feel I owe the author and the time he spent writing the book, to at least finish it. But we have to realize that it's our lives, and we don't want to waste it reading books we don't like!

As for your second question, I have a great example: Twilight. I tried finishing the first book two times and had to set it down because I hated it so much. But since it was so popular, I tried it a third time and got past the first hundred pages and started to like it. I now have finished the series and it's one of my fav series!

Thanks for the post.

softdrink said...

I usually know within the first 50 pages or less. Although I slogged through 1/2 of Moby Dick before throwing in the towel.

Lisa R said...

I'd say 50 to 75 pages. I might give it more if it's a book I received free but I have so many I want to read that after 75 pages I may put it aside to try later.

farmlanebooks said...

I wasn't a fan of this book either, but because it had been raved about so much I actually read it all the way to the end. I normally read about 100 pages before deciding to give up on something, but if you aren't enjoying this one then I can let you know that it doesn't get much better. I hope you enjoy your next book more.

Beth said...

I agree--this one took awhile to get into. And the only reason I stuck with it was that I was on a plane and there was nothing else to do. But I was glad I did, because then it quickly turned into the perfect book for a beach vacation: there was that delirious sense of being hooked into a world that I just could not leave! (and the sequel is even better).

Aths said...

Ok.. you are the second person I came across recently who gave up on this book. I haven't tried it so I am not sure. But I am curious because this book has got some rave reviews too. Maybe I shouldn't hurry to read it. Hmm.. I've never given up on a book, excepting two. Once was a Salman Rushdie that I couldn't get into. The other was an audio book that was getting boring, and I usually struggle with audio books.

Helen M said...

Jennifer--I've heard Dragon is good after 100 pages or so but I am just not willing to wait that long! I usually give 50 to 60 then move on.

Kelsey--I agree that sometimes we're just not in the right mood for a book. I've done that before (in fact, with Dairy Queen) and ended up liking it.

Softdrink--You get major bonus points for even attempting Moby Dick. I just can't go there!

Lisa--I agree with 50 or so

Farmlanebooks--My friends who finished Dragon liked it but I just wasn't going to spend so much time on something that wasn't grabbing me.

Beth--maybe I needed to be on a plane. Trapped with nothing else to read! Sounds grim to me.

Aths--I do know a lot of people who have liked this book, but they say it takes at least 100 pages to get into it