About Wendleberry
I'm odd.

14 Responses to On Giving Up

  1. sjhigbee says:

    I’m far more ruthless – but then I’m also older and I’m haunted by the fact that I only read in the region of 150-180 books a year and I have a LOT stacked up on my TBR, so if it doesn’t grab me by page 50, then I stop reading. There’s not enough time to waste on books I’m not enjoying…

    • Wendleberry says:

      I have 318 books on my bookshelves that i have yet to read. I can barely managed to read 30 books a year. I always remember a quote by Lewis Buzbee in The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: “If you read one book a week, starting at the age of 5, and live to be 80, you will have read a grand total of 3,900 books, a little over one-tenth of 1 percent of the books currently in print.” I will never be able to read one book a week, and i certainly wasn’t reading that much as a five year old… i will not read SO MANY books. Yet still, i can’t stop reading them, even when they aren’t that great. HELP ME, teach me your ways!!

      • sjhigbee says:

        Oh, I feel your pain! I really used to have the same mindset – but… I’m getting older and conscious that I’m running out of time! I think it’s that which has made me more ruthless. So perhaps you have to wait a bit longer before anno domini bites!

  2. @lynnsbooks says:

    I used to have the same issue. I think it’s probably a combination of wanting to be a completionist and also a ridiculously misplaced sense of optimism that the book will suddenly pick up. The thing for me, reading a book that I’m not enjoying just makes my reading come to a standstill, everything stops and I have no desire to pick any book up. I have to make myself DNF even though I even now have issues in doing so. The other thing is, if I force myself to read a book I’m not enjoying that I end up really resenting that particular book – like, it turns into a kind of loathing because it’s swallowed up so much of my time and it wasn’t worth the effort – it sounds ridiculous but it’s true. Time is too short, there are too many good books so why read something you’re not enjoying. It’s funny because as readers we do have this feeling that we have to complete a book once started and yet we don’t carry that over into other areas of life for things that take far less time to achieve. If you’re watching a film and not liking it you switch channels, if you cook something you don’t like you don’t eat it, etc, etc.
    So, I’ve decided to cut myself some slack and desist with the books that don’t work for me. It still pricks my conscience a little to do so but ultimately, once I’ve managed to put the book aside i feel a wonderful sense of relief.
    Lynn 😀

    • Wendleberry says:

      Definitely feel the same about a bad book bringing my reading to a halt. Maybe if i haven’t had the desire to pick up a book in two or three days it’s time to cut ties?

      The comparison to other things like film and food is very eye-opening, though. I’ll need to remember that analogy next time i’m reading a book that’s not working for me!

  3. Sophie Li says:

    Hello Wendleberry!
    This is such a good question. I also have a pretty high threshold when it comes to giving up a book. Part of it is because I also wonder if the book will begin to interest me later on, if the plot and the characters will improve, etc. Also, I am hesitant to put down a book if I’ve already invested time and money on it! If I already spent x hours reading the first half of the book, shouldn’t I at least finish it? Thirdly, as a book reviewer, I feel that I need to finish a book before I write a review, even a bad one.
    Great post 🙂

    • Wendleberry says:

      I used to feel the same about thinking i shouldn’t/couldn’t review a book i haven’t finished, but i think i’m over that hurdle. I actually really enjoy writing reviews for books i don’t like; i find i can articulate my feelings more. So if i hated a book enough to not finish it, i’m going to really enjoy slating it in a review!

      • Sophie Li says:

        Very true 🙂 I also find that it comes easily for me to write a negative review. I’ve been hesitant about review books that I’ve DNF’d (how can we review a book without reading it fully?) but you may be right in that if we disliked it enough to give up on it, then we should be able to share that with our readers.

  4. Rachel says:

    100% get you. I also have FOMO when it comes to books, and I struggle with things being “incomplete”. I admire others who can put something down after 50 pages, or donate it to the charity shop. I usually muddle on (like you at a slower pace) until the half way mark, and then either abandon it but keep it on my shelf (“maybe it was my mood and not the book, I’ll try it again later”), or try to skim/speed read the bits I’m not enjoying, so I can at least finish it, give it a rating, (sometimes) write a review, and then get rid of it. That I can remember, I have only DNF’d a handful of books, and it’s because they were either SO badly written that I just couldn’t cope, or the story line was actually ludicrous, and it angered me so much that I just got rid. I don’t think I’ll ever not be this way though, I think it’s really tied to your personality, so while you could probably make small tweaks and changes if you really wanted to, it’s just the way we are! Lol R xx

  5. Pingback: Stacking the Shelves & Wrappin’ It Up March & April 2018 – Confessions of a Book Geek

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