12 November 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Too Short?

Suggested by JM:

“Life is too short to read bad books.” I’d always heard that, but I still read books through until the end no matter how bad they were because I had this sense of obligation.

That is, until this week when I tried (really tried) to read a book that is utterly boring and unrealistic. I had to stop reading.

Do you read everything all the way through or do you feel life really is too short to read bad books?

I feel that life is too short to read really bad books. (And I’ve only recently progressed that far.) I used to read everything to the very end; but now if I feel sure I simply can’t finish a book - and if morbid curiosity isn’t enough to keep me going - I will quit.

I’ve only done so a handful of times in the last couple of years, either because old habits die hard or because I’m good at choosing books. I think mostly the former - I’ve written my share of negative reviews. Quitting a book gives me an uncomfortable feeling of unfinished business. I do think that I need to get better at walking away from bad books; but then writing scathing reviews is so much fun!


Alayne said...

Unfinished business, that's a good line. Here's my answer: http://thecrowdedleaf.wordpress.com/2009/11/12/booking-through-thursday-november-12-2009/

Nise' said...

Sometimes my curiosity will have me skimming to the end, but I can easily quit and go on to the next book.

Cath said...

I read really, really fast (I always have)--about 100 pages an hour. So I tend to see books through to the bitter end, even if they're bad. But really, *really* bad books I will abandon.

Amat Libris said...

Alayne: Unfinished, and unforgettable; abandoned books tend to nag at my conscience!

Nise': That's something I should have remembered to include in the post - I'll skim to the end if I'm still curious but can't quite face reading every word.

Connie: I think I'm a little jealous....

Amy said...

I've got two words for you, "Henry James". The only author who has managed to defeat me. I never leave a book unfinished (no matter how bad it is). The only two times that I've done it, The Aspern Papers and What Maisie Knew. Since then I've vowed never to touch another Henry James book ever again.

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