How long until you decide to stop reading a bad book?

I’m one of those readers that hates to give up on a book no matter how bad it is. I’ve been lucky and haven’t run into too many of them, but when I do I just about always struggle through to the end. In one case, I actually read the second book of the series hoping that maybe I just misunderstood the first book and the second would set things straight. It didn’t, and the third book still sits on my to-read shelf. If I had any sense I’d just throw the book into the “read box” and put it in the basement. But I can’t do that either. OCD at its finest, I guess.

The last book I had to stop and put aside was The Book of Joby by Mark J. Ferrari. I just couldn’t stomach another word of it. The odd thing is the book got great reviews, including a few from friends whose opinions on books I trust. I just couldn’t get into it. During almost every page all I could think of is “why?”. Without spoiling the book (heck, even though I hated it I won’t spoil the parts I read) the whole concept made no sense for me. No, not the part that’s the obvious take-off on the Book of Job, the reason for the story to take place is totally illogical. The reason, which is found out early in the book, makes absolutely no sense.

That book sat on my desk and in the backseat of my car for weeks without me reading a page. It got to the point where I wouldn’t even bother taking it with me to places I knew I would have time to read it. That was a sign to me that I was done with the book without actually finishing it. So now it’s in the “read box”, right? No, of course not. It’s on a shelf just five feet away from me as I type this. Perhaps I’m not really done with the book after all. Or it’s my OCD and I can’t put it with the books I’ve finished. Both are probably equal in chance.

But the whole idea of my post is to ask: how long does it take you to decide you’ve had enough of a book? And do you ever revisit a book you stopped?


7 thoughts on “How long until you decide to stop reading a bad book?

  1. Chapter 3 of the second book of the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever. Someone gave me all of the books, I think there were 6. I gifted them on to someone else. Thoroughly pathetic central character. Drove me crazy with his constant self-pity party.

  2. 100 pages. After several friends recommended Anne Rice’s books, I tried Interview With A Vampire…After hating virtually EVERY page of the book (I kept assuming that SOMETHING must be coming that might be interesting), I vowed to never again read a book that didn’t interest me within 100 pages.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s