How many of you have gone through an awful breakup? You break up. You get back together. You break up. It happens, but breakups don’t just happen in your love life.
I’ve had to break up with books before.
I don’t like doing it and trust me, I try and try to make it work, but sometimes it’s just not the right fit. Typically, I give it about 50 pages before I set it down. Sometimes I’ll even pick more than twice and try again if someone makes a strong case. And of course, I’ve been wrong before! I can’t tell you the number of times I tried to read Animal Farm (which is only 112 pages) before a professor made me read it and I ended up loving it. We all make mistakes, but I feel pretty strong that when I’m done… I’m done.
Clearly this is a book blog, so there’s no real scientific reasoning to the following breakdown. But people have different reasons and strategies when it comes to reading, so after doing some research… who am I kidding… I asked Twitter and I got some great responses.
There are a number of reasons why you put a book down before you finish it, such as,
- You can’t/don’t relate to the characters
- You don’t like the characters
- You don’t enjoy the plot
- You’re not a fan of the writing
- You’re not connecting with the story
Everybody has a different reading process and no one is going to have the same reading experience (even if they’re reading the same book) so here are some thoughts from Twitter:
@reederreads I always give the first 100 pages … sometimes even that is hard though
— Lindsay Does Nails (@LindsaysNails) August 14, 2014
.@reederreads I’ve heard the 100 rule. 100-[your age]=number of pages to read before you abandon a book. I read until I get bored.
— Lara Willard (@larathelark) August 15, 2014
@reederreads neverrrr. Although I may be about to give up on my current read. Usually by page 100 I know whether I like it or not
— Brenna (@EverAfterEsther) August 14, 2014
@reederreads Most likely never. I am one of those crazy people who are always thinking “but what if it gets better and you’ll miss out!?”
— Evie Seo (@SeoEvie) August 15, 2014
@reederreads 50 tops! More like 30. Do yourself a favour life is too short to read them all.
— Jane Leaver (@MissusLeaver) August 15, 2014
@reederreads it’s usually 20% but I rarely give up unless I can’t stand the book, and sometimes I even finish those ones too lol
— Siobhan (@chevy27) August 15, 2014
@reederreads I am terrible – 20 pages. I know what I like!
— Abigail Cukier (@AbigailCukier) August 15, 2014
As you can see, everyone is different. Maybe I’m naive, but it actually never occurred to me when I started writing this post that people didn’t give up on books. I completely understand their reasoning on why they might not want to break up, but I think I have the same philosophy as @MissusLeaver – life is too short to read something that I’m not enjoying. It could also be due to the fact that I have so many unread books, that if I can’t get a book to “stick”, I know I’ll be able to find one that’s a better fit.
They say that breaking up is hard to do and it’s hard to do it with books too, so share with me in the comments below, what’s YOUR reading break up habits? Do you bail at chapter 3? Why do you throw in the towel?
*Luckily, I’m at the 75 page mark in my current read (a Spring title by Tessa McWatt), so it’s safe to say, I’m in it for the long haul.