Thursday, November 12, 2009

Booking Through Thursday

Suggested by JM:

“Life is too short to read bad books.” I’d always heard that, but I still read books through until the end no matter how bad they were because I had this sense of obligation.
That is, until this week when I tried (really tried) to read a book that is utterly boring and unrealistic. I had to stop reading.

Do you read everything all the way through or do you feel life really is too short to read bad books?

Life is DEFINITELY too short to read bad books. I have no problem putting a book down if I'm not enjoying it (with the exception of a book club book. Those I finish, regardless of whether or not I like them). I will usually give a book a chance of at least 50 pages, but I have put a book down in as little at 5 pages. I don't really have a hard and fast rule. And there have been more than a few times where I've given a book so much of a benefit of the doubt that I've actually finished it (against my gut feeling) and regretted it. The last book I read, The Angel's Game, is a prime example of this. Ugh!

How about you? Do you feel obligated to finish a book that you are not enjoying?


strokeofliving said...

I never feel guilty about not finishing a book that is boring me to tears. I do a bad thing however, I re-gift it to a book loving person that I know. Or I do a good thing for myself, I search for the receipt and return it for a wish list book.

nan said...

Life is too short to not read books. I read them all the way through even when I am not enjoying them. I'm not sure why. I think it comes from the academic reading I've had to do. Sometimes I keep waiting for the epiphany of understanding the work of art or interpretatioin. There aren't many books in which I can't find some redeeming factors. However, the books that I don't like all that much make those that I do all the more enjoyable, and I am conscious of savoring the reading while I am in process.

Pam said...

Nan - This is a such a fascinating perspective that I felt it was important to respond here. You make such a great point about all books having some redeeming factor. And I love your thinking about the "epiphany of understanding the work of art or interpretation". Wow! This is a much more "giving" way to think of reading. My perspective is much more selfish - if I don't like, I can't be bothered. I love how you are trying to understand the author or allow him/her to fully present his/her message. And the image of you "savoring" the reading (good or bad) is powerful. I would describe myself more as "devouring" my reading and then quickly moving on. You've given me something very thought provoking to think about. Thanks so much for sharing this point of view. I love it!

Tammy Howard said...

I can put a book I don't like down, but I'll often try to return to it weeks or months later when I can bring a different perspective.

Bethany said...

Most of the time I read books through, but if the book is just really boring and I am not feeling it, I'll put it down. I always have other books to read!


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