Poll

If the book isn't working for you, do you plow through, or abandon it and move on?

PLOW THROUGH: My stomach hurts if I don't finish a book I've started.
12 (12.4%)
ABANDON: I give it a certain amount of time/read a minimum amount and if it hasn't grabbed me it gets dumped.
28 (28.9%)
IT DEPENDS: I have no set rule, I prefer to finish, but have given up on books.
38 (39.2%)
NEVER USED TO, DO NOW: Why? What's changed, post a response. :)
19 (19.6%)
NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT IT ONE WAY OR THE OTHER: or, none of the above :)
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 97

Author Topic: Do you give up on 'bad' books or read through anyway?  (Read 5073 times)  

Offline telracs

  • Status: Agatha Christie
  • *********
  • Posts: 19439
  • Gender: Female
  • NYC
  • peace, love, justice.... and chocolate.
    • View Profile
Re: Do you give up on 'bad' books or read through anyway?
« Reply #25 on: May 24, 2016, 12:02:16 PM »
I thought I was the only one who read chapters in reverse order!  I flip to the back when I get bored with a book and if I like the ending, I'll read the chapter before the last one and if it's ok, I'll usually go back to where I left off and try again.
But the older I get, the less likely I am to finish something if it doesn't hold my attention.

And I agree with you about abandoning a series that has gone downhill.  I've given up on several over the years (and Patricia Cornwell was one of them), but it's hard to leave the characters when I've spent so much time with them.

nice to know I'm not alone! 

Offline Wisteria Clematis

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 713
  • Gender: Female
  • Pacific Northwest
    • View Profile
Re: Do you give up on 'bad' books or read through anyway?
« Reply #26 on: May 24, 2016, 12:06:41 PM »
I thought I was the only one who read chapters in reverse order!  I flip to the back when I get bored with a book and if I like the ending, I'll read the chapter before the last one and if it's ok, I'll usually go back to where I left off and try again.

What?!? Telracs and Andra you are starting to scare me  ;D Just the thought of reading a book in reverse order is enough to make my OCD self break out in a cold sweat.

Offline LGOULD

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 163
    • View Profile
Re: Do you give up on 'bad' books or read through anyway?
« Reply #27 on: May 24, 2016, 12:27:12 PM »
I'd like to clarify what I said earlier. I do feel somewhat more obligated to finish books written by other self-published authors (although admittedly, it hasn't always been easy) because we're all in this together, and I'm hoping for the same consideration from them. As for reviews, it's obvious, at least to me, that to be fair they should reflect a thorough reading of the book. I've been burned a few times by so-called "reviews" that totally missed the point because the "reviewer" obviously didn't bother to give it any thought. I would never do that to another author, because I know what an effort it takes to write a book, good or bad.     

Offline ellenoc

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3815
  • Gender: Female
  • Colorado
  • Mystery and romance
    • View Profile
    • Ellen O'Connell
Re: Do you give up on 'bad' books or read through anyway?
« Reply #28 on: May 24, 2016, 12:34:17 PM »
I'm another one who used to finish any book she started, no matter what. What changed it all for me was Scott Turow's Presumed Innocent. Highly regarded bestseller, right? I found it tedious beyond words, and it was long, long, long. No book had ever taken me weeks to read before. I could hardly force myself to face it for short sessions, and I'm the kind of reader who reads long hours and finishes books quickly. I sat up all one night and finished The Hunt for Red October in one day.

So after Presumed Innocent, I swore I'd never do that to myself again - and I haven't. I'll abandon a book at any point and do it faster and with less cause these days than years ago. That's age probably. Far more books hit me with the been there, done that reaction than they used to.

As to owing authors anything - I'm a writer myself, and no reader owes me anything but to acquire my books in a legitimate way. If a book bores me, offends me, or just doesn't quite do the trick for whatever reason, I'm gone. Others will love it. After all, the one that made me change the finish-it habit of a lifetime was a bestseller.

As for series, I'm kind of the same way. If they start going downhill, I'll abandon. Even if a series doesn't fall off in quality in general, I've skipped one in a series if it doesn't appeal. For the most part, I love Nevada Barr's Anna Pigeon series, but there was one where I read the blurb and just skipped.

And once in a while, where a story intrigues me but the way it's written isn't holding my attention, I'll do the skip to the end thing and read enough to see how it comes out.

No guilt, no patience, no loyalty, that's me, a curmudgeonly reader.

Offline anguabell

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 702
    • View Profile
    • Goodreads
Re: Do you give up on 'bad' books or read through anyway?
« Reply #29 on: May 24, 2016, 12:47:30 PM »
Count me among "NEVER USED TO, DO NOW".

And I should do it more often, and much, much sooner. I'd rather re-read a beloved, well-written book I know practically by heart than wasting my time on poor writing or place/story/characters I do not care about.

What has changed? This is a part of de-cluttering my life. Life is short and getting shorter, eyes are getting weaker. My work requires reading and writing all day. So my pleasure-reading time should not be wasted.

I also tend to read more non-fiction these days (as life is indeed stranger than fiction), especially history, a trend I see among other middle-aged readers as well. So that's another question I'm asking myself when reading a book - what can I learn from it? But it doesn't need to be a "serious" book to contain something interesting and factual. A few months ago I read a fluffy little paranormal romance from New Orleans containing quite fascinating description of the bead-making process :)
 

Online Mike D. aka jmiked

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 5034
  • Gender: Male
  • Central Texas
  • Reading ebooks since 1994!
    • View Profile
Re: Do you give up on 'bad' books or read through anyway?
« Reply #30 on: May 24, 2016, 06:21:53 PM »
I'm also  among the "NEVER USED TO, DO NOW".

I suspect my early compulsion to finish a book even if I didn't think very much of it was due to being pretty much stranded in a small French village of 200 people (only three families were American) when I was between the ages of 10 and 13. The nearest library was on the Army base a long drive away. I went to school at the Toul-Rosieres Air Force Base (over an hour and a half drive away on the bus). It had a reasonably nice library, and the high point of the school week was the day that the whole class got to crowd into a bus to go to the library. Books were hard to come by and I was such a voracious reader that it didn't matter if I didn't like it  that much, it got read anyway. That's a habit I kept somewhat through later life when I had more access to books. Even when I got my first Kindle in early 2008, I was still not very apt to stop reading a book that didn't hold my interest, although it did happen.

Fast-forward several years later, there is/was such a glut of books to choose from that I no longer feel it necessary to give any particular book more than a chapter or two to get my interest. Samples are nice!


Mike
What you see depends mainly on what you are looking for.

Offline Libby13

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 254
  • Gender: Female
  • North Carolina
    • View Profile
    • Libby Heily Website
Re: Do you give up on 'bad' books or read through anyway?
« Reply #31 on: May 25, 2016, 06:20:53 AM »
I used to slog through every book but then I realized if I wasn't enjoying it or getting some value out of it, then I was wasting my time.  Too many books out there that I'm dying to read.

Thanks for reading!
Libby Heily | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | Instagram

Offline L.J.Simpson

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 38
  • Japan
    • View Profile
Re: Do you give up on 'bad' books or read through anyway?
« Reply #32 on: May 29, 2016, 11:48:50 PM »
I am also in the never used to but do now - but with reservations.
These days there are so many reasonably priced/free books available that giving up is a very easy option. We live in a throw away world.
And because there are so many reading options I expect to be entertained, which is reasonable enough. However, It crosses my mind that for the same reasons, I'm gradually becoming more and more choosy and by consequence more and more difficult to entertain. I wonder if it's as much my fault as the author's.
Perhaps it's just one of the consequences of being in a buyer's market.
Across Enemy Space : 40%
L.J. Simpson

Offline SteveHarrison

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 628
  • Gender: Male
  • Sydney, Australia
    • View Profile
    • Storming Time
Re: Do you give up on 'bad' books or read through anyway?
« Reply #33 on: May 30, 2016, 12:52:15 AM »
I give a book 50 pages, maybe 100 if I'm undecided. I abandon those if the story hasn't grabbed me by then or if I find the style is wrong for me.

But those are different from poorly written books. I can tell from the first page if the writing is really bad, so I don't buy/start reading those.

Offline Libby13

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 254
  • Gender: Female
  • North Carolina
    • View Profile
    • Libby Heily Website
Re: Do you give up on 'bad' books or read through anyway?
« Reply #34 on: May 30, 2016, 03:29:31 AM »
I just gave up on one.  It wasn't "bad" but it wasn't for me.  I've read some reviews that say it's the weakest in the series so, of course, it was the one I started on.  Oh well.  It was also a genre I don't often read  Cozy Mystery.

Thanks for reading!
Libby Heily | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | Instagram

Offline NightWriterCT

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 255
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • Author Website
Re: Do you give up on 'bad' books or read through anyway?
« Reply #35 on: June 06, 2016, 06:50:17 AM »
If I'm not enjoying a book by roughly the 5% mark, I abandon it. Sometimes because the writing is lousy, but usually it's just not my thing. My reading time is limited and I don't want to waste it on a lost cause or something that's just irritating me.

I only review books I've read all the way through, FWIW.

Abby Vegas | Author Website | Twitter

Offline MWhateley

  • Status: Madeleine L'Engle
  • **
  • Posts: 92
  • Gender: Male
  • Sheffield - United Kingdom
    • View Profile
    • My WordPress blog
Re: Do you give up on 'bad' books or read through anyway?
« Reply #36 on: June 06, 2016, 07:12:11 AM »
Depends for me. If the story idea is good, but the execution is poor, I will usually carry on. If the idea is bad, and execution is poor, then I may very well execute the book.  :o

Now, of course I worry how people react to my stories, so I have sympathy with the Author. However, some of the books I have given up on have been by established, traditional, authors. Authors that I have loved, and read for years, but have just had a bad year I guess.

Offline cagnes

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1644
  • Gender: Female
  • Louisiana
    • View Profile
    • Bayou Cover Designs
Re: Do you give up on 'bad' books or read through anyway?
« Reply #37 on: June 06, 2016, 09:13:01 AM »
Another "NEVER USED TO, DO NOW". Life is too short & I have way too many books on my tbr pile to waste time on an unenjoyable read.  ;)
 
Christine | Member since 10/13/2009 | Goodreads | Bayou Cover Designs | Bayou Cover Designs on the KBoards Yellow Pages
A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.  ― George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

Offline Maggie Brooke

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 148
  • Gender: Female
  • Midwest
    • View Profile
Re: Do you give up on 'bad' books or read through anyway?
« Reply #38 on: June 06, 2016, 01:02:04 PM »
In KU I'm pretty ruthless, because there's a seemingly limitless amount to choose from and I'm not paying for each and every book. In fact, I would say I only finish 50% of the KU books I borrow. Maybe less.

Offline Betsy the Quilter

  • To paraphrase Bill Murray in Groundhog Day: "I'm a goddess; not THE Goddess. I don't think."
  • Administrator
  • Status: Shakespeare
  • *****
  • Posts: 63026
  • Gender: Female
  • Alexandria, VA
  • Love all, moderate all, to quote my friend Harvey
    • View Profile
    • Betsy True Designs
Re: Do you give up on 'bad' books or read through anyway?
« Reply #39 on: June 06, 2016, 04:13:11 PM »
I only have so much time, so I vet the KU books about the same as non KU books...though I've abandoned a KU book just recently--it's one I've had on my TBR list for some time but I just couldn't do it--the dialog bothered me and the book seemed pretty much a downer.  I did skim through to the end though to learn how it ended.

Betsy
Goodreads Goal -- 75 books


Joined 10/27/2008  | Miss you, Harvey, Jeff & Dona!
Harvey Chute (1962-2015), KB Founder

Proud Owner: Oasis/Voyage/Touch/Basic/K1/Fire HDX
Betsy True Designs Facebook | My Store

Offline MariaESchneider

  • Status: A A Milne
  • ******
  • Posts: 4856
  • Gender: Female
  • Austin, Texas
  • Urban Fantasy, Fantasy, Humorous Mysteries
    • View Profile
    • Bear Mountain Books
Re: Do you give up on 'bad' books or read through anyway?
« Reply #40 on: June 06, 2016, 05:00:37 PM »
I give up pretty easily these days.  Some of that is the plethora of cheap books, some of it is time.  I also will skim a few chapters, read some, see if it catches my interest, maybe skim a bit more, etc.  Most of the time I just regret bothering though because if I'm skimming, I'm just hoping to close out a few plot issues and they are SO RARELY closed to my satisfaction that I may as well just have moved on.  The last two books where that happened, I shut the kindle off and wrote a satisfactory plot summary in my head.   ;D

Online Marian

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1599
    • View Profile
Re: Do you give up on 'bad' books or read through anyway?
« Reply #41 on: June 06, 2016, 05:11:42 PM »
Life is too short for reading bad books ....


I agree!

Offline ancaiovita

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 108
    • View Profile
    • Longevity Letter
Re: Do you give up on 'bad' books or read through anyway?
« Reply #42 on: June 19, 2016, 10:35:48 AM »
I never bothered with reading a book where after a couple of pages I realized it was just not my thing. Maybe the title sounded interesting, maybe the table of contents too, but if for some reason I'm not that into it, I feel no guilt about letting it go. Reading is supposed to be fun. Nobody pays me to read, so why make it sound like work? Life is too short for that.

Geriatrics physician,book author and life extension blogger
Anca Ioviţă | Blog | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | Twitter | Google+

Offline Tony Richards

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 7132
  • "Richards is a master" RT Book Reviews f/sf column
    • View Profile
    • Tony Richards -- Dark Fantasy Author
Re: Do you give up on 'bad' books or read through anyway?
« Reply #43 on: June 19, 2016, 12:53:14 PM »
Why stick with a bad book when there are so many good ones you could be reading instead?
My new crime novel THE TRIBE is now out from Cemetery Dance Publications. And there are now 6 Novels in my Raine's Landing supernatural thriller series, with a seventh on the way.

 
Here's the complete list of my eBooks on Kindle, some self-published, others from the likes of Eos/HarperCollins and CD Publications.      VISIT MY WEBSITE.

Offline V.P.

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 780
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Do you give up on 'bad' books or read through anyway?
« Reply #44 on: June 19, 2016, 01:38:43 PM »
If the book is really bad, I just give up on it.
If it begins well but then gets boring later on, I'll skim the middle and read the ending. If the ending is good, I'll go back and read the middle. Sounds crazy, but it works for me!


Offline Donna White Glaser

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1588
  • Gender: Female
  • The final mystery is oneself. -Oscar Wilde
    • View Profile
    • Donna White Glaser
Re: Do you give up on 'bad' books or read through anyway?
« Reply #45 on: June 21, 2016, 10:40:34 AM »
I do still have a "slight" problem with a series that starts going downhill.  I still feel the need to complete/continue series for some reason.  The only series I have completely abandoned is Patricia Cornwall; after Black Notice I quit and have never returned.   

Oh my gosh, THIS ^^.  If a series starts to tank, I usually still check out the new book just in case the author regained that ol' magic. I think it has to do with my addictive nature. I'm always chasing that first "high." :)  But I've had no problem completely dumping Cornwall's series and not looking back. Loved her early stuff, but hate the 1st person POV. More than that, though, she'd gotten so negative I couldn't bear staying in that world.
  Suspense with a Dash of Humor

Offline Jim Johnson

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 6435
  • Gender: Male
  • Alexandria, VA
  • Storyteller and Cat Minion
    • View Profile
    • Ineti Press
Re: Do you give up on 'bad' books or read through anyway?
« Reply #46 on: June 24, 2016, 07:44:12 PM »
I'm an abandoner. I'll read a sample or 3-5 chapters of a book. If it holds my interest, I'll keep reading. If not, I'll delete it or return it and then go on to the next book on my list. There are too many books to read for me to spend valuable reading time plowing through something I'm not enjoying.

Online Patricia

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 658
  • Gender: Female
  • Northwestern New Jersey
  • Enjoy Today...It will not come again.
    • View Profile
Re: Do you give up on 'bad' books or read through anyway?
« Reply #47 on: June 25, 2016, 12:56:16 PM »
I used to feel obligated to finish a book once I started.  Now that I'm getting older, I've decided life is too short and there are too many books I'll never get to.  But it also depends on whether I've paid for the book or if the book is borrowed or a freebie. 

Offline Mskeakelso

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 11
    • View Profile
Re: Do you give up on 'bad' books or read through anyway?
« Reply #48 on: July 02, 2016, 11:13:54 PM »
I used to feel some kind of moral obligation to finish a book, but now I abandon it if after a short(ish) time it hasn't grabbed me. I'm now very grateful for the look inside feature on Amazon - I can usually tell from the preview whether I'm going to want to read, though not always. Biggest turn-offs for me are strong language, explicit sex and gratuitous violence - graphic, if necessary, is ok in moderation. Would be interested to know what others feel? What their turn-offs are?
Munro Book 3 : 25%
Margaret Skea | website | Facebook

Offline Hurricane John

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 317
  • Gender: Male
  • Orlando, Florida
    • View Profile
Re: Do you give up on 'bad' books or read through anyway?
« Reply #49 on: July 06, 2016, 07:08:26 AM »
I usually plow through, even though I sometimes regret doing so. As an author I know that sometimes the story starts slow, then build to an interesting or even exciting climax. That doesn't always happen, but I try to give the author the benefit of the doubt.

One thing I can say, is that when I plow through a novel that ends up being less than satisfying, I have to think twice about picking up the author's next book.


Stories of Mystery, Suspense and more
John D. Ottini | Amazon Author Page | Facebook | Blog