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Beyond the Lone Islands

Thursday, 6 May 2010

BTT: Halfway Through
So … you’re halfway through a book and you’re hating it. It’s boring. It’s trite. It’s badly written.
But … you’ve invested all this time to reading the first half. What do you do? Read the second half?
Just to finish out the story? Find out what happens? Or, cut your losses and dump the second half?
Sometimes I finish, sometimes I dump.
It depends a bit on "why" I'm reading it.

If it is a book I have heard other people discuss, and I'm reading it to be able to join the discussion, I probably try to finish it, and analyze what it is I don't like about it. But if it is a book I happened to pick up more randomly, I probably just dump it. I might also just page through the rest of it really quickly and have a peek at the end!

If it is a well-known classic, I might try and find a summary or review to help me understand what it is I'm "supposed" to see in it. I have a few books on my shelves that I only got halfway through. It happens that I lay one aside for a while for something else. Sometimes the time and circumstances in which you read something matters, too. It happens that I try an abandoned book again at another time, and like it better than I did the first time.


gautami tripathy said...

Classics do take a while to get into the plot.

BTT: Half way

Windows Wide Open said...

Good point about trying again sometime...ya never know!

I LOVE your blog header/title, what a fantastic quote from the book! I'm putting that in my fave quotes list :)


Ginny said...

I do the same thing you do about books I don't like! If I'm reading it because of other people, I'll tend to finish it. Otherwise I don't waste my time. If I still don't like it after about a third of the way through, I toss it. Interesting question!

Sandra said...

I am an avid reader, 2 to 4 books a week, i only read what i like, and fiction is what i like. I read for pleasure only. if the book is boring or i don't care about it, i put it down and get another one. sometimes i want to know what happens but it is to boring to finish, so i read the last chapter. I like page turners, the kind I can't stand to put down until finished and then wish I had not finished it. I have a few times kept plugging away and putting down and then in the last half it would get better.

Alayne said...

Yeah, Classics are especially tough to keep going on with if you don't like them. My answer is at The Crowded Leaf.

Mama Librarian said...

Sometimes I like a quick read, sometimes I prefer a book that makes me think. Either way, if I don't enjoy it, there are plenty of other books out there -- I can almost always pick up something else (unless it's a book for class!).

Nithin said...

I'm not very good at giving up a book halfway through, so I used to finish most of the books I began, but I'm getting better at giving up on really boring books now.

MarceJ said...

I'm a mood reader, so I get trying again later but that is not for the category of what I consider a bad book, forget it.

I pretty much said the same thing, completing it is like choosing to punish myself. Way to many great books to push yourself through a bad one.

My response

Anonymous said...

I like your answers. I don't think you can have a discussion about a book without first finishing it.

pussreboots said...

Unless I'm reading the book for a class, I don't give the classics any more leeway than I do any other book. Pussreboots.

GB said...

I like your philosophy on this. I used always to finish a book. Now, unless there is a a very special reason, I abandon those I don't enjoy. I usually have a pang of conscience though.


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