Musing Mondays - Give it a chance

Musing Mondays, hosted by the lovely Rebecca at Just One More page is about sticking with it.

How much time (or how many pages) do you give a book that you aren't really enjoying before you'll set it aside? If you're reading it for a book group discussion, or for review, will you give it more of a chance then, say, a book you're reading for your own interest? Why, or why not? (courtesy of MizB

This question happens to be very coincidental since I just ran up against this problem with a couple books I've been reading. Over the years I've came across a few books I couldn't finish. I don't have any set formula, it depends on the book. It could be one chapter or up to 100 pages.

My dad sent me a self published book by a new author he discovered recently and thought I would like. Dad normally reads nonfiction and rarely reads fiction. However he tried reading this one and couldn't finish it. He chocked it up to the story line, it was too convoluted and hard to follow and it really didn't interest him, plus it was fiction which he just can't get into. started it a couple days ago and tried to have an open mind, got through about the first 100 pages, then shelved it. Note to dad: It wasn't you, Dad. It's not that good.

Last year I picked up a novel published by Ignatius Press in the Catholic Book store and thought, "Oh, this looks really good." Boy was I surprised. The story actually grossed me out and I couldn't finish it. It was too dark. I thought maybe it was just my mood at the time and set it aside for another time. Nope, didn't work and shelved it.

If it is a book for review and I'm not liking it, will skim through and finish it. Fortunately this rarely happens. Then try to find some positive things to say about it. Just because I don't like it, doesn't mean others won't. I try to avoid accepting books that I know aren't my cup of tea. I rarely join in book club discussions because I just don't have the time and I'm more of a mood reader than anything else.

How much time do you give a book before you set it aside?


  1. Usually I gave the book 50 pages, but it depends on how long the book is (if it's 500 pages, giving it just 50 pages to make its case doesn't seem like enough to me) or how much I'm actually hating it. Sometimes 20 pages is enough to know that a book is not for you.

  2. For me, it ends up being about 100 pages. I'm working on one that I'm going to shelve, because it's just not interesting. I can't get into it, and I don't know who the main character is. Which is sad, because I almost never leave books unfinished. :(

  3. Good question. I'm not sure what makes me hold out longer for some books than others. Sometimes I'll finish a book I don't enjoy because it's "important," and seems to have been a touchstone for a lot of readers, and I want to be conversant with it. Sometimes I'll realize the book has something to say to me even if I'm not enjoying it. But at this stage of life, when most of my reading is for pleasure, I give up pretty quickly on most books I don't enjoy.

  4. If it is not a review book or for book club, I give it 50 pages. Like you I will skim a book for review or book club if I am just not "feeling" it.

  5. 50 pages or Chapter 3 and then if I'm just not liking it I close the book and move on!!!

  6. I'll give the book 70-100 pages before I shelve it.


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