Giving Up On A Book

Shutterstock / Leszek Glasner © giving up on a book

I don’t like to give up on things and that includes giving up on a book.

But lately, I picked up a book that I really struggled to get through. When I got halfway, I finally admitted defeat and put it down.

This was a “big deal” for me. I even asked other bookworms what they would do.

They were split – some keep going to the bitter end. Others told me, “life’s short.”

Pros and cons

Sometimes there’s value in pushing through. We’ve all read books that have picked up speed in the second half or introduced a twist that finally piques our interest.

For writers, it’s good to read books you’re not getting along with. It’s a good way to figure out what you might have done differently and what you want to avoid in your own writing.

On the other hand, there are books you get to the end of and wish your future self could come back and tell you it’s just not your cup of tea. Especially for books on the bigger size!

Online reviews

I found myself looking up reviews for the book in question. It had a high rating. This made me doubt myself. Should I pick the book up again and give it another shot?

People really loved it. Is there something wrong with me, then, and not the book? Maybe I’m not in the right mood to read it. Perhaps I missed something.

At least other people really enjoyed it.

It was also a book that was recommended to me, which only added to the pressure! If I gave up on it, would they be offended?

So many books, too little time

In the end, I made my peace with the fact that I had put the book down and that was that. I decided to listen to the people who said that life is too short.

After all, I have so many other books that I want to read. In fact, I’d been daydreaming about which book I’d pick up next – a sure sign that I should have moved on!

What about you?

I wonder what you think.

Do you give up on a book as soon as your interest wanes? Have you got a set number of pages you read up to before making your decision? Or do you stick it out to the end no matter what?

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Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.