Last week I was listening to the Dear Book Nerd podcast on Book Riot, and at one point, the host says she follows the “50 page rule.” If she’s not interested after 50 pages, she’ll pick up a new book. When I mentioned this to a group of friends, one said she also enacts the "50 page rule" (regardless of length) while another friend challenges herself to finish every book she starts.
I understand both sides of this. There are millions of books to read, so why read something that’s not quite right for you? But then again, can you really judge a book by reading a small section of it? Sometimes a mediocre book will have a really great ending or turning point that will make the entire book worthwhile. There are also books that I may not have loved reading, but after sticking it out, I’m glad I did (The Odyssey, anyone?). For me, I don’t have a specific page number or point where I decide to put down the book. I tend to read multiple books at once, so the decision to stop a book will happen organically.
Here’s what the other OOM-ers had to say:
Michael: Before I start the book, I divide the book into 3 parts. If I do not like the book by the first third (yes, I mark that specific page number), I will stop reading it.
Morgan: I used to hate quitting books, but then I realized life is too short to read something you don't love. I give a book about 3-5 chapters, depending on how long the chapters are and how iffy I'm feeling about the story.
Brittany: I always try to finish books but there have been a few instances when I just lost interest, put the book down, and never picked it back up.
Megan: I have too little patience and free time to give a book more than a two-chapter chance if I don't like it!
Alex: Like a bad movie, I also try to finish books, hoping it may take a turn for the better and catch my interest.
Lia: I don’t have a set rule. Growing up, I feel like I followed a three-chapter rule—if I didn’t like it by then, I’d stop. (Life’s too short to read things you don’t like!) That said, I try to give every book a fair chance; unless I really, really hate it, I’ll usually plow through until the end because I’m compulsive.
How much of a book do you read before calling it quits? Or do you always finish the book?