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Aibu to not finish reading a book I find boring?

(123 Posts)
HughLauriesStubble Mon 15-Aug-16 08:47:19

I have an irrational hatted of having a semi-read book. I'm not sure why, but it just drives me mental knowing that I haven't finished it. It's something about the fact that I have already been tricked into invested some time in it and how it would be a total waste to not get to the end now.

I would usually rather keep my eyelids open with matchsticks and force myself to read something no matter how drively and ridiculous it is.

However, I am half way through Saturday by Ian McEwan and I'm seriously thinking about chucking it on the woodpile. It was my first foray into McEwan and I was expecting great things but jesus it's like watching nail polish dry. Over. And. Over.

Please tell me IANBU. And if anyone has actually read the book to the end, please enlighten me. I must be missing something.

sooperdooper Mon 15-Aug-16 08:49:11

I read that ages ago and enjoyed it, but I regularly don't finish books - I'd switch a tv show off it I didn't like it, why not leave a book unfinished

7to25 Mon 15-Aug-16 08:50:21

Put that dreadful book down now.
My very well read and literary friend says "life's too short for a bad book"
I have read "Saturday"

RiverTam Mon 15-Aug-16 08:53:15

I've stopped forcing myself to finish books, there are too many good ones out there to be read to waste time on ones you hate.

I've read Saturday. It was OK. Better than On Chesil Beach. You're life won't be any worse for not finishing it.

FiveGoMadInDorset Mon 15-Aug-16 08:54:16


Mine was We Need to Talk About Kevin

TerrorAustralis Mon 15-Aug-16 08:55:44


I'm like you. Hate leaving things half-done or half-read. But some time ago I gave myself permission to stop reading books I wasn't enjoying. There are too many other good books out there.

Also, after reading two Ian McEwan books I decided I would never read another. He's a misanthrope of the highest order and his books are bloody miserable.

FeliciaJollygoodfellow Mon 15-Aug-16 08:57:07

I used to prop my eyes off finishing books. I just don't bother now. Life is too short to read shit I'm not enjoying.

And Five I totally agree about We Need.... I hated it. I hated the style of writing. I knew what was going to happen so I just couldn't be arsed.

mrsfuzzy Mon 15-Aug-16 08:57:14

all that time you spend reading a book you dislike is time you will never get back, put it down / to charity go and do something you enjoy instead.

Specialapplek Mon 15-Aug-16 08:57:26


I've lost count of the number of books I've given up on halfway as they lost my interest. I also do not read the ending if I really love the story and get the foreboding that it's not going to end well.

squarecat Mon 15-Aug-16 08:57:50


Mine was Rose of Sebastapol, found it very liberating - I now give books 50 pages to grab me or its dropped.

HughLauriesStubble Mon 15-Aug-16 08:57:51

Phew. IANBU then. It just drives me a bit batty to not follow through on something I've started. The last book this happened with was How To Be Good by Nick Hornby, I literally forced myself to finish it and I think I was more annoyed in the end because the story turned out to be so shit. Should've just dropped it.

I think I'll use the 'life's too short for a bad book' stance from now on!

blankpieceofpaper Mon 15-Aug-16 08:58:24

I read it - but on audiobook. It is because of the time constricted style of his writing for this book - all one day, lots of detail about a squash game, about preparing a meal.

It does get there in the end. But life is too short to feel guilty for leaving a book!

I like Enduring Love and A Child in Time as ones I have enjoyed more.

useyourimagination Mon 15-Aug-16 08:59:39

I've just put a book down that I don't intend to pick up again and I'm about halfway through. The crunch for me was when I got another book from the library that I'd reserved and wanted to read that first, then another book from the library, then another that I've had kicking around for a while...

If I don't feel compelled to finish a book now, I don't although I do feel a bit defeated by this last one. It's not bad per se but it doesn't draw me in either.

Bodicea Mon 15-Aug-16 09:00:03

Slightly off topic but my dh rarely finishes a book. He likes reading them on holiday but not any other time. So if it's not finished before we get home it doesn't get finished. I can't get my head round it.
Mind you he does generally only read Clive cussler type books so can pretty much predict the endings!!!

acasualobserver Mon 15-Aug-16 09:00:21

I gave up on Saturday too. There are so many books I really want to read so I'm not going to waste time on one that I'm not enjoying. I leave food that I don't like as well.

MrsJoeyMaynard Mon 15-Aug-16 09:01:51


I've stopped forcing myself to finish books I'm not enjoying now. There's too many books I have on my want to read list to waste time on ones I'm hating. If you've got halfway and you're not getting anything out of it, then I don't think it likely that you'll enjoy the second half any more.

cheapandcheerful Mon 15-Aug-16 09:03:39

Mine was The Suspicions of Mr Whicher. I agonised over whether to give up too, kept on going thinking it would surely improve at some point. It didn't and I did give up about half way through.

RoughMagic Mon 15-Aug-16 09:04:05

YANBU. It used to be a point of honour with me that I would finish any book I started. I waded through so many shit books on principle. Until it sudden it dawned on me that it was a waste of my time. Now I am ruthless. If I'm not engaged after 3 chapters, it gets sent to the charity shop or deleted from my kindle. Life is too short to read bad books.

RoughMagic Mon 15-Aug-16 09:05:13

My moment of clarity was 'The Slap'. Dreadful book full of awful characters.

myownprivateidaho Mon 15-Aug-16 09:09:15

Never understood people who feel they have to plough on to the end of books. If you're not benefitting from it intellectually or enjoying it, what is the point?

ThinkPinkStink Mon 15-Aug-16 09:09:43

Life is too short to read bad novels.

I've given up many, including:

Beyond Black
We Need to Talk about Kevin

StayAChild Mon 15-Aug-16 09:12:44

I find it so much easier to give myself permission to ditch a book I'm not enjoying on kindle rather than a hard copy. So easy to archive it, then you don't have to keep seeing it laying around unfinished and feeling guilty.

I really look forward to my bedtime read, but if I'm not looking forward to it because I can't get into a book, it has to go. So YADNBU.

StillDrSethHazlittMD Mon 15-Aug-16 09:14:04

Never ever continue with a bad or dull book. It never improves. I also tried On Chesil Beach after lots of raves and it is quite possibly the worst book I never finished.

WoburnSands Mon 15-Aug-16 09:14:19

I normally love Mc Ewan's books - I've read Amsterdam but not Saturday.

I've abandoned Ulysees twice. Totally goes over my head!

LuckyBitches Mon 15-Aug-16 09:15:53

YANBU to abandon a book. I have such low patience that I abandon about a quarter of books that I pick up. However YABU to abandon Saturday! A fine book (IMO, obviously).

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