1. Bone2pick

    Bone2pick Contributor Contributor

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    When do you throw in the towel?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by Bone2pick, Feb 23, 2019.

    I'm currently reading a book that hasn't captured my interest in its first forty pages. It should be mentioned that its author has a strong following, and the book in question is rated over four stars on both Amazon and Goodreads. I'm hoping something in the story will happen soon to earn my investment, because reading it is beginning to feel like a chore.

    My question to you all is: assuming my enjoyment of the story doesn't improve, at what point should I move on to the next book in my queue? Page 100?
     
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  2. Earp

    Earp Copy That Contributor

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    For me, it's when I put it down and realize I don't really want to pick it up again.
     
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  3. Just a cookiemunster

    Just a cookiemunster Active Member

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    It depends on the book really. Some books I gave up after the first few pages because I just know it's not for me. Others that have more potential usually make it to the 40 or 50% mark then I'm done.
     
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  4. The Dapper Hooligan

    The Dapper Hooligan (V) ( ;,,;) (v) Contributor

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    It depends on why I'm reading it. If it's for research, then I'd finish it. If it's because I wanted to enjoy a book, then I stop when I realize I'm not enjoying it. Life's' too short to read bad books for no reason.
     
  5. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Has the Vocabulary of a Well-Educated Sailor. Contributor

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    If the book is of average length and there's a compelling reason to read it, I try to give it 100 pages. But if it takes that long, by the time I've reached page 40 or so I've skipped around and read ahead to see if it's worth going 100 pages.

    Other books I've abandoned around page 20, after skipping around and reading ahead. One book, I read on a plane out of boredom and abandoned on page 133 of 146 as soon as I landed, then forgot about it until I added something to my Kindle app. I still never bothered to finish it, because if I didn't care in all that time, it's not worth it. Life's too short to read unenjoyable books.
     
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  6. C-beam

    C-beam New Member

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    Some books i've read have been written in a certain style that marks them out as different from the rest, and for those books, it isn't such a chore to keep going. Other books have surprised me by changing tack halfway through, but the writing style was always good enough to just about hold my interest. patience is a virtue that sometimes does actually benefit the reader apparently. It really comes down to what kind of book I'm looking for at a particular time in my life. It's the same with movies, sometimes I crave the beatuiful, expansive scenery of Spartacus or Last of the Mohicans, along with a great story, and then other times only Blade Runner will do. I'm less patient, and more particular the older I get, and the more I read. I think if your heart isn't in it, then you are less likely to give it a chance...so move on if you feel that way after the first 10 pages, life always turns out to be just that one book shorter than your reading list.
     
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  7. Iain Sparrow

    Iain Sparrow Banned Contributor

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    There's been very few books I've given up on in midstream. 99% of the time I finish the book I start.
     
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  8. XRD_author

    XRD_author Banned

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    When I start skimming, and realize I'm skimming not because of an isolated info-dump or tangent but because I'm searching for something interesting to read or a reason to give a damn about the characters, that's when I stop.

    I started borrowing ebooks from our local library recently. I've finished about 25% of what I've borrowed. Why I return them varies. One it was because it seemed to be 90% graphic sex scenes (the female wolf-coyote-human hybrid was literally in heat for the entire book - which I found revolting). I returned Dune: The Butlerian Jihad because the writing is tediously verbose, the story disjoint, and the characterization ham-fisted -- amateurish writing I'd be ashamed of.

    I'm currently reading The Invisible Library and I'm 27% through it with very little skimming. I'll probably finish it, but we'll see. :)

    My time has value: time spent reading could be time spent billing or writing. So I'm not going to waste time reading dreck.
     
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  9. Mckk

    Mckk Member Supporter Contributor

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    Anything between 30-100 pages. Honestly, I'd say if it hasn't captured my interest in the first 3 chapters, it's probably a goner. It depends on the book as well. I forced my way through Handmaid's Tale 'cause it's one of those books I feel I should read and I should at least try to appreciate, give it a fair chance. Still found it dull as heck. But hey, at least I now feel entitled to my opinion because I've actually read the book :) whereas before I was just saying it's boring without having read it cover to cover.

    But if it's just a regular commercial book, nah, wouldn't waste my time. Plenty other good books waiting for you ;)
     
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  10. Earp

    Earp Copy That Contributor

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    I read four pages of Fifty Shades of Grey standing in a bookstore and knew it wasn't going to be worth any more of my time.
     
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  11. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    I'm usually reading at least two or three books simultaneously. If one of them doesn't interest me, odds are that the next time I have a moment to read I'll pick up another one, and the first one never gets picked up again.
     
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  12. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Has the Vocabulary of a Well-Educated Sailor. Contributor

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    Yeah, but which four pages did you read? :supergrin:

    I'm kidding. It was hideous.
     
  13. Harmonices

    Harmonices Senior Member

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    Depends on how committed I am already. I'm wading through the final section of the third novel in the Divergent trilogy. It's dull. But I read the first two so feel like I need to know how it ends.

    I read several of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time sequence, before giving up. Exhausted with the drudge of arm crossing.
     
  14. Bone2pick

    Bone2pick Contributor Contributor

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    The book in question, as well as the books in my queue for the next year or two, was/were selected for both research and pleasure. In an effort to improve as a fantasy writer, I've been reading a variety of successful fantasy authors. And I feel as you stated above: I want to give these authors and books a fair chance.

    But there're a lot of fantasy books in my queue, and I (thankfully) don't feel like I need to suffer through any one of them more than 40 - 100 pages.
     
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  15. Homer Potvin

    Homer Potvin We may just go where no-one's been.... Contributor

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    40 pages is more than enough for me. I can usually tell after the first 3 or 4... usually it's the modifier bukkake that gets me. Or asinine description. Or the backstory donkey punch.
     
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  16. ugly henry

    ugly henry Member

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    I don't have much patience for boring books. If I'm not hooked 5 pages in I move on.
     
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  17. Rosacrvx

    Rosacrvx Contributor Contributor

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    I've learned a new... thing today. :eek:

    So, back to topic, I usually can tell if a book will interest me or not at all from the first 10/20.000 words. I never give up a book until something interesting starts to happen and characters are responding to it. A slow start doesn't mean it won't. But around this word count something interesting should be happening. If not, the book is not for me.
     
  18. EFMingo

    EFMingo A Nefarious Flamingo Staff Contributor

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    I will give most books an honest try. If it hasn't really interested me, or is just plain terrible by 60%, I'll give up. Also depends on density. If its dense, boring, and just not enough to spend my time on, I'll let it go early.
     
  19. Moon

    Moon See ya space cowboy... Contributor

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    This. Unless I order said book online, I always make it rule to read the first chapter of a book in store. If I'm not hooked by the sixth page, I just move on and treat it like a bad handjob at a strip club.
     
  20. Stormsong07

    Stormsong07 Living in my own little world Contributor

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    Depends. If the story is dull but the writing is good, I tend to give it more of a chance, hoping things will pick up. If the writing and the story are both bad? Probably ditching it by chapter 3. There was one book I got for free on Amazon (probably the first warning flag right there) that had good reviews but it was just TERRIBLE. And I reviewed it accordingly. I wanted to like it- the plot summary was interesting and the cover was well-designed- but the writing was just godawful, and I put it down pretty quickly.
     
  21. obi-sem kenobi

    obi-sem kenobi Senior Member

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    I'm afraid I can only really get past a slow start out of necessity and with mixed results. I had to read Jane Eyre in college, but had started way too late. So now I had to read it in a week. After the first couple of chapters I was sure I would never be able to finish it at all, let alone in time, but since I had no other work to do that week I had to give it a go. The next day I was starting to enjoy it some more and by the end of the week I skipped class to read the last part. It is now quite possibly my favourite book of all time.

    I dragged myself through Robinson Crusoe and keep it on my shelve as a trophy. Like someone said before, I feel like I now have the right to talk bad about it because I somehow made it through.

    For me there's usually one of two reasons I stop reading. Either it bleeds out because I just don't pick it up that often until I don't pick it up at all, or there comes a point where I realise I'm actually getting mad at the book for something. Proper mad. At that point it often literally finds its way into the trash : )
     
  22. Kaitlin Gil

    Kaitlin Gil Member

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    I'm a fantasy reader/writer myself. Specifically, YA Fantasy since its geared toward my age-range. Its been my experience that in fantasy, if you're not intrigued by the 50th page, the book has very little hope of gaining your intrigue later on. I have several books/book series in my kindle that I have yet to finish and probably never will. However, I also have a few series that I'm able to read repeatedly without getting bored. For example, the Throne of Glass series is truly amazing, at least in my opinion. Its a very popular series (for good reason), so if you're looking for some insight into the world of YA Fantasy, I'd highly recommend it.
    Outside of YA Fantasy, books like Fahrenheit 451, The Orphan Master's Son, Slaughterhouse 5, and even classics like Heidi and Little Women are all brilliant popular pieces of fiction.
    I have read a plethora of books in the fantasy realm, so if you're looking to expand your queue or even get some advice on what isn't worth your time, let me know!
     
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  23. cosmic lights

    cosmic lights Contributor Contributor

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    There is so much good material out there and I don't get a lot of free time to read so if a book is not doing anything for me I'll put it down. Where I stop reading depends on how much I wanted to read it. But when I put it down and feel I have to force myself to pick it up again - that's the point it heads to my local charity shop.
    I don't like long winded stories so a lot of Stephen King's work is out for me.
    I like books and movies that get to the point asap.
     
  24. Rzero

    Rzero Reluctant voice of his generation Contributor

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    I've had a 10% rule since I was a kid. I don't remember where I heard it thirty years ago, but it's always made sense to me: If you can't give a book 10%, don't bother picking it up. For an easily distracted procrastinator, it was a good rule to adopt. I'll stop reading somewhere on the first page if it's obviously that terrible, but if the worst I can say is that it's boring, I'll read thirty pages of a three-hundred page book before giving up. It's gotten me into many a book I ended up loving. Of course, it does nothing to stop me from getting distracted by life and forgetting the whole thing halfway through. I have a lot of bookmarks sticking up on my bookshelf. A lot.

    I do the same with audiobooks. 10% is just a good indicator. I'm less likely to quit an audiobook though, unless it's both boring and super long. Six to twelve hours of meh is doable if there's any merit at all. Thirty hours plus? That's a chore I don't need.
     
  25. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Contributor

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    I'm not going to make it to 40 pages if there isn't something to hold my interest. Too many books and too little time to read books that don't interest me. I jettison them pretty quickly.
     

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