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Do you ever just stop reading a book?

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mirtlemist

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Nowaways I have a lot less time and less focused attention available, so whatever book I start needs to be able to give me a good reason to pick it up again when life gets in the way. Nonfiction is one thing, but if it's fiction and I'm able to put it down and forget about it, or feel I have to flog myself on in order to finish it, well...odds are I probably won't.


Terri
#31 - September 05, 2010, 04:39 PM

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I was in school for a long time and HAD to do a lot of reading -- tomes of it. Now, I don't have to read if I don't want to, so I read the best of the best, what sucks me in, what keeps me up late, biting my nails, etc. Life's too short for anything else.

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#32 - September 05, 2010, 05:18 PM
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Interesting. If I pay for a book I feel obligated to finish it. Are you guys getting books from the library?
#33 - September 05, 2010, 06:04 PM

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Interesting. If I pay for a book I feel obligated to finish it. Are you guys getting books from the library?

Yes. In fiction, I buy only what I LOVE and feel I have to own. In nonfiction, I do buy more readily. But I read so much that I could never afford all the books, or be able to house them. I realize someday I'll probably own an e-reader and some of the storage problem will be solved.
#34 - September 05, 2010, 06:10 PM
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I never used to do this either. But life is short, time is precious, TBR pile keeps growing, etc., etc....as many have said. There was one in particular (I won't mention the title, but it's a Newberry Honor book) that I could not make myself finish. And one that I'm reading right now is a National Book Award Winner, but I'm four chapters in and nothing has grabbed me or enticed me to turn another page. With these two, I think maybe they're just not my cup of tea, seeing as how they've been so well received by many others. But no, I won't keep reading a book just to see if I'm pleasantly surprised in the end.
#35 - September 05, 2010, 06:18 PM
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Interesting. If I pay for a book I feel obligated to finish it. Are you guys getting books from the library?

I do borrow from the library, but I also buy plenty of books. I try to make sure I will enjoy a book before I make the purchase by reading quite a bit of it in the store (or, if possible, looking at the page samples offered online if I'm ordering.) Most of the time the books I buy are ones I have sought out because of a review and the premise interests me, or because I have enjoyed other books by that author or they have been highly recommended by people with similar tastes as mine. Because of this, the novels I quit reading usually turn out to be library books.

But the last two books I bought I ordered online without reading a sample because they weren't available at the library and I wanted to study them. I didn't like them as well as I'd hoped, but I kept reading to the end--I wanted to see how these authors handled a certain element that interests me and with which I'd like to experiment.
#36 - September 05, 2010, 06:40 PM
« Last Edit: September 05, 2010, 06:59 PM by Lenzi »

HJV

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I give a book about fifty pages, and if I'm bored, I read the last couple of chapters. Sometimes the end hooks me(about 1 out of 10 times) and I'll go back and read the whole thing.
#37 - September 05, 2010, 06:50 PM

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Well, I live in Tokyo...if you guys saw the English language section in my local library you would cry. There are only a few bookstores here that sell English-language stuff and only ONE even comes close to a B&N/Borders. I am seriously considering buying an e-book reader.
#38 - September 05, 2010, 07:59 PM

Well, I live in Tokyo...if you guys saw the English language section in my local library you would cry. There are only a few bookstores here that sell English-language stuff and only ONE even comes close to a B&N/Borders. I am seriously considering buying an e-book reader.

Doh.

What about buying online?
#39 - September 05, 2010, 08:08 PM

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Doh.

What about buying online?

I can do it but the shipping can be expensive...that's why I have to be careful what I get.
#40 - September 05, 2010, 09:37 PM

Great reason to buy an ebook reader! I would definitely do it.

I mostly get books from the library, but also swap at Paperbackswap.com and scour the bookshelves at Goodwill and the like.  My bookshelves are overflowing (and I'm trying to ignore the fact that I have unpacked boxes downstairs. So, I don't buy a lot of books each year. It's not in the budget anyway. I did just get Mockingjay, though. Buying a book is a luxury for me, so I have to indulge occasionally.
#41 - September 06, 2010, 08:00 AM

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If I pay for a book I feel obligated to finish it.

Actually, if I take the time to begin a book, reading dozens of pages, I try to finish it, whether it's a libary book, inexpensive book from a yard sale or the libary's "sale" shelf, one I was loaned, or one that I paid "good money" for. Before bringing the book home, I've read the jacket flap or heard a review and I'm intrigued.

Mind you, I might skim lots of passages, but I usually want to find out how the book ended. However, if I was quite disappointed with the ending or with large parts of the book, I'm "through" with that author UNLESS I've previously read something else by that author that was wonderful.

I appreciate the guideline that life is too short to plow through books you don't love. But at the same time, I'm still trying to read widely, and no matter what, I'm learning what elements (plots and plot twists, resolutions, etc.) work or DON'T work for me. Mentally I am always reviewing a book. And that's highly worthwhile.
#42 - September 06, 2010, 09:51 AM

Absolutely. Too many that I've lost count. I'll go as far as I can tolerate and push on a little more just in case.
#43 - September 06, 2010, 04:21 PM

Sometimes I really can't believe such-and-such got published and feel like "different strokes for different folks" isn't enough of an explanation. These books/moments can make me go  :gaah and wonder if anybody REALLY knows what they're doing and how the  :eh2 we can find out.

I've had the same reaction and it's not just sour grapes! I love nothing more than diving into a book and being immersed in that world. But over the past few years, I've found myself discarding almost 1/2 of the books I take out from the library. Sometimes they start well and then wither or they read like a draft. The most disappointing are authors who have been around a while and it seems like they lost steam.
#44 - September 06, 2010, 06:24 PM
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I use to read everything and felt like i 'should' finish a book once i started but i've adopted the fifty page rule.  usually if i'm interested its easy and if not it goes in the maybe try later pile.
 :snoopy
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#45 - September 07, 2010, 07:23 AM

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You know, when I read MIDDLEMARCH I just couldn't get into it, but I plowed on because it was a good friend's favorite book. I was literally halfway through (and it's a hefty book) when I got hooked. I am so glad I didn't put it down. But I wouldn't do that for absolutely any book. Just last night I gave up on a sequel to a popular MG I liked.
#46 - September 07, 2010, 10:01 AM
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There are two books, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo and A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry, that I picked up and read about 20-30 pages twice (I kid yoiu not, at different times) and would not go on. I just couldn't. I could feel my heart breaking already in those first few pages ... and so I put them away. Then one day, I picked them up and I read them and I let myself be broken and healed and be forever changed. So yeah ... it's a completely different animal.

But most books that I put away, it's because they just don't click for me.
Vijaya
#47 - September 07, 2010, 02:32 PM
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I check books out at the library and make a 'to buy' list throughout the year.  I only buy books I'm pretty sure I'll love over and over again...however, I do have over 400 books sitting in my bookshelves, so clearly I love a lot :)
#48 - September 07, 2010, 04:19 PM
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Andracill, I know the feeling. Our bookshelves are overflowing. Lots o' book love!
Vijaya
#49 - September 07, 2010, 07:16 PM
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Sharif

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I wait 10-20 pages for a book to get good.  If it doesn't, I put it down.  I have too many books to choose from and I don't want to get stuck reading one I'm not passionate about.

If there's a lull later on in the book, I'll keep reading it.  Only a few times I've put a book down halfway through.
#50 - September 09, 2010, 07:05 AM

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I always feel so guilty when I don't finish a book.  For one, I know how much work goes into writing a book so I feel I owe it to the author.  And two, if the premise intrigued me enough to start the book, there will always be a part of me that wants to know how it all comes together.  Sometimes, that curiosity causes me to pick up the same book months or years later because I'm still wondering.

Just last week, I was scraping away at one book, looking for an excuse shut the covers for good.  Thankfully, it was a library book.  When I went online to renew it, I couldn't.  Someone else had placed a request on it.  Woo-hoo!  Hopefully that person has better luck with it than me.

And let me let all of you off the hook.  If you ever pick up my book and can't get through it (for whatever ridiculous reason), I won't hold it against you.  Just please don't send me an email telling me you're about to start my book, because then I'll be waiting waiting waiting to hear what you thought.  :crossedfingers
#51 - September 29, 2010, 02:56 PM

cyn2write

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If I buy a book, I automatically have higher standards for it than if I took it out of the library. Am I the only one?

I also find that if I buy a book, I take longer to read it-- and I have a tendency not to finish them, sometimes. That's because I will be halfway through a book I bought when I get the sudden urge to go to the library and take out books.  And since those books are due in three weeks, I put down the one I bought to read the library books, intending to come back to it later. Which I never do. I have a stack of unfinished books in my study, all with bookmarks neatly tucked in where I left off.
#52 - September 30, 2010, 10:00 AM

How many of you guys would only read a book once?  I think I like to refamiliarise myself with the reasons why I enjoy a book and would read it again a few years later.  My father, on the other hand, is entirely different.  He buys books regularly, but I think, on principal he rarely reads them more than twice, if not only once.
I am certain he has between seven and ten thousand books spreading across all genres.
By the way, every time he visits, he has to visit here:  www.vibesandscribes.ie
This place is a haven because it covers EVERYTHING.  Even I can find something there and that's a real accomplishment on their behalf.
#53 - September 30, 2010, 12:39 PM

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Sometimes I'm a little on the fence about when to stop reading, so this is my test...if I realize my reading level has dropped because I don't want to pick up THAT BOOK, it's time for a new book. (Of course I'm always reading a bunch of books at a time, but they belong to different locales, so like, if my bathroom book is so boring that I'd rather stare at the wall than read it, it's time for a new bathroom book.)

Yes, exactly! And I am glad I am not the only one who has a bunch of books in different locales too (purse book, bedside/bath book, car/kitchen audio book, iPod/dogwalking audio book).

I did used to feel more compelled to read books I purchased, but I've mostly gotten over that. I've also gotten more into the habit of getting things from the library first, then buying the books I really love.

And I've certainly had books I set aside, unable to get into, only to pick them up later and happily finish them. Sometimes I'm just not in the right mood for a certain book.
#54 - September 30, 2010, 01:18 PM
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I always feel so guilty when I don't finish a book.  For one, I know how much work goes into writing a book so I feel I owe it to the author.  And two, if the premise intrigued me enough to start the book, there will always be a part of me that wants to know how it all comes together.

I'm the same way. :yup I'd say the worst book I've ever read was Winston Groom's misbegotten Forrest Gump sequel, Gump & Co. -- but even then, I basically much forced myself to plow through it in just a day or two, just to get it over with!

#55 - September 30, 2010, 02:18 PM
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