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How long would you try a book before you give up?

(33 Posts)
Unicorn1981 Fri 30-Sep-16 09:34:24

I'm currently reading a book which has rave reviews and is meant to be brilliant. I'm on about page 120 of over 600 and I'm struggling. There'll be what seems to be a good bit then it goes weird and I can't follow it. Then there's boring bits I just want to skim through. Life's too short to struggle through but how long would you give it? The book is called Skippy Dies.

SatsukiKusakabe Fri 30-Sep-16 09:53:55

It depends on the reason. I usually try and give at least 100 pages as it takes a little while to set a scene. Maybe more if it's 600 pages - I read a CJ Sansom recently that didn't kick off till half way through the 600 odd pages. Middlemarch, for example is a fantastic book that starts off iceberg-slow.

I have found myself lately pushing myself to finish a slightly dull book, if it's generally well written, so I give it a chance to all come together...however if I think the writing is bad (or just get the sense that the writer doesn't really know what they're doing e.g metaphors that don't work, cliches, ludicrous plotting) then I will give it up at the first instance without compunction grin

Life is too short though, to read something you're not enjoying, and there are so many good books to read. You're not obligated to carry on.

What's the book?

Seeline Fri 30-Sep-16 10:00:05

I read for pleasure - if the book isn't pleasing why carry on?
The only one I have ploughed all the way through (because again it was getting rave reviews and I thought it must get better next chapter) was The Goldfinch. IMO it never did get better......

WowOoo Fri 30-Sep-16 10:06:59

I would be giving up at 100 pages in. Out of every 5 times I persevere with a book I'd say 2 are worth it.

I have just put a book away that my friend insisted I read and stick with. I'm not enjoying it and my reading time is too precious.

I haven't read 'Skippy Dies', so can't tell you what I thought.

melibu84 Fri 30-Sep-16 10:08:54

If I no longer want to read the book, I will stop reading regardless of how far I've gotten.

I recently bought The 5th Wave from The Works, hoping it would be better than the movie. It really isn't lol.

SatsukiKusakabe Fri 30-Sep-16 10:16:21

Sorry didn't see you'd said the book blush

Can't let you know if it gets better, sorry.

Unicorn1981 Fri 30-Sep-16 12:18:14

Thank you everyone. I have way too many books I want to read so I'll give it a few more pages then give up! Seeline, you're not the only one who has said the Goldfinch is not good! Shame as I wanted to read that smile

SatsukiKusakabe Fri 30-Sep-16 12:35:26

I'm didn't like the Goldfinch much, but glad I read it - she's a great writer and there was lots of good ideas in it, but, yes, disappointing. I read it over a couple of days ill in bed, if I was picking it up and putting it down over a week it might have stayed down grin

Unicorn1981 Fri 30-Sep-16 12:59:57

I might still give a try. I loved her other two especially The Secret History. I feel like locking myself in a room with this book I'm reading with no distractions to try and get into it! I'm not sure that's how books should work though. wink

BestZebbie Sun 02-Oct-16 22:46:57

If you are going to stop reading, also, you may as well skip a good chunk further ahead or to just before the end and see if you find anything of more interest there.

OlennasWimple Sun 02-Oct-16 22:50:34

I find it hard to give up on a book - it has to be really terrible for me to quit. I need to get more disciplined at stopping, really, as it's jsut a waste of reading time for all those wonderful books I won't get a chance to read...

I didn't love the Goldfinch, but agree with pp that I'm glad I read it. Though it made me think seriously about getting a Kindle, as it's so blimmin big!

Allalonenow Sun 02-Oct-16 23:06:54

It would depend on why I was finding the book unsatisfactory, I might give it longer if I felt the the plot was only just being revealed or that the characters were being developed slowly.
But if it was that the language was irritating me, too much use of "gotten" for instance, or very obvious historical mistakes being made or the idiom wrong, or that I simply didn't care what happened next as I wasn't involved in any way, then I would stop at even a few pages in.

I loved Goldfinch from page one! It's in my top ten favourite books of all time!!

MarklahMarklah Sun 02-Oct-16 23:18:10

Years and years ago I nearly gave up on "The Last Days of Pompeii" (Edward Bulwer-Lytton ) because the latin bits, for the classically-educated, at the head of each chapter did my head in. However, I persevered by just ignoring them, and really enjoyed it.
More recently I threw LOTR across the room in disgust because I simply could not take reading one more word about what colour belt/braces or style of beard a dwarf had. It didn't matter- I knew they were all dwarves and presumed something was going to happen but I couldn't be arsed to read any more drivel to find out what.

I also reread Middlemarch a while back and found it incredibly frustrating. It's been gifted to the charity shop now.

NickiFury Sun 02-Oct-16 23:21:03

One chapter. I can tell by the way it's written within pages if I am going to be able to tolerate it. I say tolerate because there are some writing styles or when there's ridiculously excessive description and/or detail that I can't manage for more than a page or two no matter how good the plot - Jodi Piccoult is a writer I find intolerable, yet her plots always sound brilliant on the back cover.

NickiFury Sun 02-Oct-16 23:22:06

I loved the Goldfinch too. One of my favourite ever book characters is in that book.

fatowl Mon 03-Oct-16 13:13:10

I give it between 50-100 pages.
If it hasn't gripped me by then, I will go and find a detailed review and/or synopsis. Depending on that, I might/might not decide to carry on. Usually not.
Life is too short to read a book you are not enjoying.

I started listening to an Audible book today that was so bad I stopped within 15 mins and returned it for a refund. I love Audible for that.

AmeliaJack Mon 03-Oct-16 13:16:20

I have a one chapter rule.

Although I usually put the book aside and try again another time in case it was my mood rather than the book which was the problem.

Unicorn1981 Tue 04-Oct-16 07:51:03

Hi I just thought I'd update. So I got a bit further and it suddenly got better so I've carried on. Still struggling with some little bits but I'm mostly enjoying it now! It took about 190 pages though!

HolgerDanske Tue 04-Oct-16 07:51:58

I give it a chapter or two.

sophiaheulwen Tue 04-Oct-16 09:44:57

One chapter only nowadays. So many books, so little time, so why persevere if you don't like it. I give books I don't like to Oxfam. I tried the Goldfinch too and gave up after the first chapter.

SashaCattyGarfield Tue 04-Oct-16 15:14:09

i only read a book if i like the first chapter.

froubylou Tue 04-Oct-16 15:20:54

I give it about half an hour of uninterrupted time. If it doesn't make me want to read it again the next night I stop reading it and start something else.

I have a kindle though and there are so many at the click of a button it makes it easier to stop.

Before dcs and before my kindle I read everything I ever bought though. Mainly because I might not be able to pick something else up straight away. And because I had the time to read for 3 or 4 hours every night. It was before you could waste hours of time browsing the Internet though and when everyone just had 4 channels to watch.

Which makes me sound older than the almost 39 I am!

Planetmuff Tue 04-Oct-16 15:35:48

Oh Skippy dies is so dull. Please don't waste another day. I read to the end and I will never get the time back.
Quite enjoyed the goldfinch though but it was a slog.

NeverNic Tue 04-Oct-16 21:58:40

Am laughing at LOTR. I completely agree! I remember being given The Hobbit as a child because my uncle thought as an advanced reader I'd love it. I didn't. I've tried again several times, and nope still don't. It pretty much helped me dislike the whole fantasy genre. grin

I haven't read the book op but as a rule I give a book 3-5 chapters. If I really hate it I give up. If its just dull then I tend to persevere than whinge about it! Nowadays I tend to read the amazon reviews after reading the blurb. I look at what the people who give it the poor ranking say. If their criticism mentions something that would bother me, then I'll probably skip it. Equally if its described as the next Girl on the Train, or another book I've been disappointed by, then I don't bother.

FoxesOnSocks Tue 04-Oct-16 22:09:11

100 pages. Though I gave up on page 2 of A Girl is a Half Formed Thing!

I really like Skippy Dies, but if it's not pleasing you stop!! Its a bit unsettling (reading wise not emotionally) because of the writing style, with the switching in person (first/third/second) as well as the tense its written in.

That reminds me I rras a book written in the present continuous, it was horrible to read!! Forgotten the name if it though.

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