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 timesI 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.