I abandoned a book last night

I’m taking Andrea’s advice and quitting on The Winter’s Tale. One of the most frustrating books ever. I really hated it.

Butterfly Mind

Line Graph depicting Age vs Unfinished Books on andreabadgley.com

I officially quit on a book last night. Shelved it under DNF (did not finish) on Goodreads, removed it from the homepage of my nook, and resumed the recurrent task of trying to find something gripping to read.

When I was younger, I refused to quit on a book. Even if it bored me to tears, or I hated the characters, or it took me places in the human psyche that I really didn’t want to go, I’d rally, and rally, and rally until I turned the last page. Some books were worth it. Like A Prayer for Owen Meany. John Irving drags the beginning of that book out forever, not just setting a stage, but shopping for lumber, forging steel for scaffolding, and then bolting the infrastructure of it together before finally showing you what its going to look like. Likewise, he develops his characters slowly (and…

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14 thoughts on “I abandoned a book last night

  1. I wonder if this is something all readers learn as they grow older (and, perhaps, wiser). I used to be the same way, never abandoning a book, but a few years ago I instituted the 50 Page Rule. If I’m not into the book by page 50, forget it. There are so many wonderful books to read, and so little time to read them all, that I don’t want to waste time forcing my way through a book that doesn’t speak to me on some level. There have been some exceptions to the 50 Page Rule. Some books start out slow, but the potential is there so I carry on. Writing style makes a difference for me, too. A lot of books lately feel like they were written to become a movie, and if it’s too obvious, I find myself abandoning the book.

    1. A good writing style is essential for me these days, Robin. If someone is in love with throwing words about for the sake of sounding metaphorical, it gets tiresome. What we all want, in reality, is a good story that we can relate to. I really do like your 50 page rule. Maybe I’ll follow that rule myself. If I had done it here, I would have never wasted my time on 450+ pages of this behemoth.

  2. I have no problem abondoning books. The thing is, I’ll give most of them a second chance and usually on the second try I will actually finish. Most of them – there are still quite a few that have remained closed.

    1. I don’t often give up either, Jo. I think I’ve only done it three times in my whole life! One of the others was A Suitable Boy. 🙂 I’ll have to put on my snow boots to go out today!

  3. Cathy, I have found over the years that I’ve grown less tolerant of books that don’t appeal to me. The reasons can include anything from the writing style to bad timing on my part. So I put them down, but I make a point of giving the book one more chance later on. If it doesn’t work then I let it go. ~Terri

    1. I gave this one numerous chances, but the writing style annoyed me beyond belief, so I had to give it up. I think this is the third book I’ve given up on in my life, so I don’t do it lightly! It didn’t help that it was a fantasy. The only reason I even gave it a try was because of the rave reviews and I wanted to read it before the movie came out. Letting go is a good thing!

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