I Rarely Finish Books I Dislike

Recently, several of my Goodreads friends asked me how I’m so lucky to only read books that I like enough to rate with 4 or 5 stars. Simple: I rarely finish the books I dislike. Lately, the theme of my life is “life is too short,” and especially for spending 300 pages of my life reading a books that weren’t interesting beyond chapter one while I hope that they’ll magically improve themselves sometime before they end. Rarely happens. I give every book a chance, but unlike many readers I know, I have no qualms, fears, or moral objections about putting down a book that’s not been good for the past 123 pages. You could fill a Carnegie library with the books I’ve not-finished (hyperbole!). 

It’s impossible to go through life without doing things that are tedious, uninteresting, or in the category of ‘I’m only doing this because I must;’ things like school and homework, a frustrating job hunt, or a really bad date. 

But my free time is sacred! There’s no time to kill, except when reading A Time to Kill.

“Never judge a book by its movie.”

– From a bookmark I purloined from the library (they’re not getting it back).


P.S. – Thanks for pointing out the “it’s” vs “its” mistake I made. WAY TO GO.

14 Responses to “I Rarely Finish Books I Dislike”
  1. talda says:

    I think there was only 1 book I read even though I hated it: The Catcher in the Rye. I only read it because I had to (AP English Summer reading list) and it came to a point where I was too far in to just stop. My pride reared its ugly head and I suddenly had to finish the book if only for the express joy of throwing that book across the room in triumph. I would not let some book get the best of me.

    And hearing the paper ripple as it flew through the air and the thud when it slammed into the wall? That made it the most satisfying read ever.

  2. Same for me. If I really just don’t like a book, man, forget it. There are too many good books out there, waiting to be consumed.

    I have the same policy for movies, music albums, and dinners. Just go ahead and call me a quitter, I can take it.

    (The only exception: If I am fascinated by how terrible a book or movie is, I may finish it to see where on earth it ends up. Because there is “This sucks” and then there is “WHAT IS HAPPENING I DO NOT UNDERSTAND.”)

  3. Josh Kim says:

    Good usage of the word ‘purloin.’ I have tons of books I haven’t finished, because I hate endings. I hate finishing books.

    • beginswithm says:

      I feel good about myself when I finish a book. If I own it, I highlight the parts I really liked, and reread them later. Of course, I mostly read non-fiction, so the “endings” don’t stop me from reading them, again. I’m not so good about reading fiction.

  4. gnetch says:

    I used to have all the time in the world to read books. Lately, I’ve been buying books but haven’t gotten around to reading them. Yet.

    Actually, I have forgotten about them. I just remembered those books because of this post! (Awwwww…)

  5. Nesheaholic says:

    Ha, good point! Why torture yourself if you don’t have to?!

  6. Jesse says:

    That’s a good strategy, I’ll have to try that sometime…
    I’ve had a hard time lately finishing books that I *do* like. They get set aside some busy day or week, but when I remember that I’m not finished and it’s been long enough that I don’t remember exactly what’s going on, but not long enough for my eyes to check out because I’ve already read what came before it. Then I have to go for try #2. Or 3.

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