I recently made it only a few pages into three different mysteries and then stopped because I just couldn’t get into them. (For the record, they were Dance of the Winnebagos – too R rated for my tastes, The Final Arrangement – too bland for my tastes, and A Dead Red Oleander – the narrator/main character just rubbed me the wrong way.) Not finishing books is a new development for me, probably within this past year. With the frequent availability of free or $0.99 reads, my Kindle starts to fill up fast, and I don’t like it to get too crowded.
This made me start thinking: when is a book worth abandoning? I very, very rarely will read a book halfway and then stop, if I’m going to bail it’s within the first few pages or so although it’s still pretty uncommon for me to do this. My pile of “wish I hadn’t read it” is still much larger than my pile of “abandoned before the end”. The thing is, life is too short and there are too many good books out there to waste your time with badly written books, or even just books you aren’t enjoying. Things that make me stop reading are insipid characters, too much gratuitous sex or violence, and of course, too many basic writing errors. If these things are evident in the first five pages, there is almost no chance I’m going to like the book, so it’s done.
Now I’m turning it over to you. Do you abandon books? If so, does it make you feel guilty (it does me!)? What will cause you to not finish a book? What are some books you couldn’t finish?