Monday, June 1, 2009

Musing Mondays


MUSING MONDAYS are hosted by Rebecca at Just One More Page. Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about sticking with it…

How much time (or how many pages) do you give a book that you aren't really enjoying before you'll set it aside? If you're reading it for a book group discussion, or for review, will you give it more of a chance then, say, a book you're reading for your own interest? Why, or why not? (courtesy of MizB)

There was a time in my life where I would finish absolutely every book that I started - whether I liked it or not. Not anymore. I don't really have a set "rule" for how long I'll give a book before I give up. I am familiar with the 50 page rule, which states that if you are younger than 50 you should read 50 pages before deciding to set a book aside and if you are over 50 then you subtract your age from 100 to determine how many pages to committ to. This is a good guideline, but I have "dumped" a book after as few as 2 pages and as many as 600!

I will usually give a book the benefit of the doubt if it's by an author I really love, it was recommended by someone whose book opinion I trust or I've read some amazing reviews of it. And I (almost) ALWAYS finish any book that is for a book club discussion. (I have been in at least one book club since 1996 and I can think of two instances where I wasn't able to finish a book club book, but it didn't have anything to do with not liking the book). For me, being in a book club means that there are times when I will NOT like the chosen book. That's the point -to be exposed to books that I wouldn't otherwise have read and discussing them with people who feel differently about that very book. And many times I come away from those discusssions feeling a bit more positive about the book.


PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Musing Mondays post, or share your opinion in a comment here. Thanks.

17 comments:

Tammy Howard said...

Oh, how timely...

I love Chuck Palahniuk. Let me ammend. I love old Chuck Palahniuk. I have liked each new offering less and less. The latest - Pygmy - is almost unreadable. I am three chapters in. It's a chore. I put a bookmark in it and moved on to things I don't have to work so hard at. I've left the option open to go back to it - out of loyalty - but, man...

gautami tripathy said...

I have a 20 pages rule. If i doesn't interest me, I go to the next one!

Monday is here again

Alex the Girl said...

It depends on the book. I could not, as hard as I tried, get past the first couple of pages for Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood, but being that I enjoyed the movie (aside from the way too fake accents), I tried pushing through only to give up. I'm halfway through "The Mermaid Chair," but the predictable ending just caught me flipping to the end to see if I was right, which I was, and I stopped midway. However, like you, I've been known to stop 2 pages into the book. I don't think I could give myself a certain number of pages rule. If I don't like it, I just don't like it. For example, I will never...ever...no matter how hard I try...like Ernest Hemmingway (sorry!). I just won't.

Sandy said...

It definitely depends on the book and why I picked it up in the first place. If it comes highly recommneded by someone I trust, I might try a little harder and give a book a little more time. Usually 50-100 pages is it, though. And I have been known to give up on a book and go back to it much later and love it.....Memoirs of a Geisha comes to mind.

Anita said...

The worst is a book that I've purchased and then I find I don't like it. I read all of Jan Karon's Mitford series, they were light, easy, and uplifting, and one of the last ones was just so awful, the accents written in for back woods southern English were just too difficult, I lost all interest. I am careful now about what books I buy.
I would estimate I try to give a book 50 pages, but in the aforementioned book......less than 20!

The Things We Carried said...

Here from Midlife Job Hunter

Yes, I have battle the rule here make sure i don't miss a great book. I used to make myself read every single book I started. Then a few years ago, I decided i miss too many good books wasting my time on those that aren't great. You know, the so many books an not enough time :)...

Ronnica said...

I've never heard of the 50-page rule, but I'm likely to finish what I've started. I have only stopped reading one book in the last year, and that was when I realized that it was holding me back and I got 0 enjoyment/enlightenment out of it. I can't imagine quitting a book less than a 100 pages in, but I wouldn't start a book if it didn't hook me from the start.

Pam said...

Alex - I agree. I don't have a hard and fast rule, but I usually will give a book 100 pages unless I'm really not enjoying it. I haven't read anything by Hemingway since HS. Of course, I didn't like it too much then, but not sure how I'd feel now. I find that I never quite get to the classics since there's so much else to read.

Crystal said...

It depends on the book and my mood, if I need something to hook me quick than not long. But sometimes I am patient to see if the hook will come later. I would guess on average 20 pages : )

Nise' said...

I do have a 50 page rule, but there has not been many books that I have abandoned.

Chrissy said...

Just stopping in to say hi from SITS!

Ladybug said...

I read about 80-100 pages before I give up. I have only given up once but I have to start practicing this rule more often. When I force myself to stick with a book I often end up losing my passion for reading for a little while.

Pam said...

Crystal - I think you have a good point about my mood at the time. Sometimes I find I have more patience with a book than others.

Ladybug - Thanks for stopping by my blog. I really appreciate it! Nothing worse than losing your passion for reading. Ugh!

Gamma Sharon said...

I still, most of the time, read a book all the way through wheather I like it or not. I keep thinking it has to get better... maybe I should just drop it. It's hard for me though...
I have never been in a book group. I am going to look into it here where I live and see if there are any... sounds fun to me.

Pam said...

Sharon - That happens to me sometimes, too. I keep thinking that the book will get better. When it doesn't I'm so annoyed. Though sometimes it does. It's a crap shoot. I hope you can find a book club to join. Libraries and book stores are good places to start. Good luck.

Bethany said...

I give a book a few chapters- if I'm really not into it, it's not worth it to me since there are SO many books I look forward to reading!

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