I shared one of my favorite quotes from the interview on the MMD facebook page and asked you to share your thoughts.
“Grown-ups shouldn’t finish books they’re not enjoying.” – John Irving
Abandoners and Finishers
The answers fell into two categories:
- Those who abandon books they’re not enjoying.
- Those who wish they could.
The Abandoners said things like this:
Rachel: “I give it 60 pages. I call it The Giver Rule, since the book The Giver was super boring until around page 60. If I’m not enjoying a book after 60 pages, I’m done!”
Krystal: “I used to think I “had” to finish a book once I started. This limited the books I chose to read. Not so anymore. Because I know I don’t have to finish it if I don’t like it, I try a wide variety of books. Books that before I would have felt were too difficult or not my style. Now I’ll try anything!! Almost.”
Walking Through the Valley: “I started doing that a few years ago, and it changed my whole reading style. About 30-60 pages in, if I’m not hooked, it’s gone.”
Celeste: “I implemented the 100-minus current age rule and read that many pages. Sometimes I continued, other times I have given it a good effort.”
The Finishers said things like this:
Amy: “I can’t not finish a book.”
Carrie: “I can’t! Do you know how many books I have “in progress” because I can’t bring myself to give up on them??? Darn fake-OCD.“
I’m a Finisher who would like to be an Abandoner. I know when it’s time to quit a book: it’s that point when I consciously decide to switch to lightning-fast reading mode so I can get the thing over with as soon as possible. I occasionally abandon books altogether, but I don’t do it enough.
My new anti-reading goal
It’s just March; it’s not too late to make new resolutions. I’m belatedly resolving to quit bad (or less-than-stellar) books. Next time I catch myself switching to speed-reading mode, I’m just going to put it down.
I’ve already read plenty of not-so-great books in 2013. I should have abandoned First Light and Looking for Alaska. I strongly suspected Gathering Blue and Messenger wouldn’t be to my taste. These books were all by good authors, but I knew by page 60 I didn’t want to finish them. I did anyway. I shouldn’t have.
My new goal for 2013 is to have a nice long list of books I abandoned to share with you at the end of the year. I’m gunning for a dozen or more.
Wish me luck.
Abandoner or finisher? Share your thoughts in comments.
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I loved the interview with John Irving, and not just because he prompted an anti-reading goal. Read the whole thing here.
To see conversations like this on Facebook, you can like the MMD facebook page here. If you “like” the page but rarely see updates, here’s what to do: just go to the MMD page, hover over the “Liked” button, and select “show in news feed.”
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