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On Not Finishing Books November 9, 2007

Posted by bookgoddess in Books, Reading.

Here is a confession of sorts.  Recently, I have chosen not to finish several books.  In one instance, I found several of the principal characters to be annoying.  In another, I just didn’t see the point of the brutality.  In several cases, I simply wasn’t drawn into the narrative with sufficient momentum to keep reading. 

I know some people say they always finish books.  I have other friends who have a little rule:  they say you should subtract your age from 100, and the result is the number of pages you should read in a book before giving up on it.  I’m not sure if the idea is that the older you get, the better your judgment, or just that you shouldn’t be wasting your time as you get older since you have less of it.

I think the rule is fine if you need a rule.  And you actually do have permission from the Book Goddess to stop reading any book at any time.

Having said that, there are some times when you might want to persist, or perhaps try again.  For instance, books that are highly recommended by a trusted source.  Or books that have stood the test of time.  I started Jane Eyre as a very young teenager and simply didn’t get into it.  Later in my teen years I read and loved it.  I also read it in my late twenties and my late forties, and loved it all over again.

I just like to think of you all reading something that makes you happy, that lifts you up, and that expands your horizon.  Let me know how I can help.

All the best,

The Book Goddess


1. Marc Charles - November 27, 2007

I whole heartedly agree with putting a book down that doesn’t grab you. Everyone out there has books that they get 50 pages into and they find that its just not for them. Even though it can weigh on you for pushing that book aside, it is probably for the better. Who wants to read a book that’s not for them while they could be reading their new favorite one…

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