To finish or not to finish, that is the question…

You are reading a book and you are not enjoying it.  The book is not homework; it has not been assigned by a parent, teacher, boss or your book club.  You don’t have to read it.  The main character is a nitwit and the writing is terrible.  You squirm in pain as the characters get themselves into one convoluted situation after another.  The editing is bad.  You just don’t care.  You are bored.

What do you do?  Do you continue to read the book?  Do you grit your teeth, strap yourself in and read every last page?

Or do you decide that life is too short to torture yourself with a book that is less interesting than watching paint dry?

Of course, I have several thoughts on this.  One is that life is too short to spend on a bad book.  There are so many other books out there that are just wonderful.  Why would you waste your time on something that clearly is making you want to stab yourself with a fork?  On the other hand, I just hate not finishing books.  I feel as if I owe it to the book to finish it.  Sometimes I just want to finish it out of sheer cussedness (“I’m gonna finish this thing if it kills me…”), which is pretty stupid, if you ask me.

So, what do you think?  Do you throw in the towel or see it through until the bitter end?

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4 comments on “To finish or not to finish, that is the question…

  1. slymrgn says:

    I don’t finish. I’ve been trying to read Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand) for years. Not gonna happen. Most recently, I tried to read Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer. Eh…not my style. Life’s too short.

  2. Absolutely set it aside. Like you said, you have better things to do. More than that, you owe the author nothing–not even the second and third chance you’ve already given the book.

    The book is meant to entertain you (or make you think, or what have you). If it’s not doing that, then all bets are off. It’s either a lousy book, or you’re not its intended reader.

  3. LoraineSaysSo says:

    I definitely don’t finish boring books. Shoot, sometimes I can’t even manage to finish the ones that fascinate me! I finished one boring book once, and decided never to waste that much hoping it would get better again. On the other hand, I re-read favorite books time and time again, and always feel it’s worth my time.

  4. Sarcasmom says:

    I can count on one hand the books I have not finished. I find it difficult to throw in the towel, even when the book is not enjoyable.

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