"Because you have begun it"

"Never read a book through merely because you have begun it."
~John Witherspoon

I'm very guilty of *not* following this sage piece of advice.  I have such a hard time *not* finishing books that I start!  Even when I'm not enjoying a particular work, there's a small piece of me that thinks, "Maybe it will end really well and make the whole thing worth it."  The optimist in me keeps believing that the next chapter will be better, and the stoic in me keeps the pages turning... just one more.  And yet, people are always telling me life's too short to read books you don't like.  Every once in a while, I start a book and if it's only so-so I'll put it down, read something else, and then go back to finish the so-so book at another time; I have a really difficult time abandoning books completely once I've started them.  Something in me just can't deal with an unfinished story.  How about you - do you give up on bad books or finish them at any cost?  How long do you give a book to be "good" before you stop reading it?

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5 Response to ""Because you have begun it""

  1. Ellen Stewart (aka Ellie/El) says:
    July 19, 2010 at 6:04 PM

    It all depends on how far into the book I am. Sometimes I quit, sometimes I read on, and sometimes I skim to find out what happens.

    Shame on me.

  2. The Bookish Type says:
    July 19, 2010 at 8:38 PM

    I have this problem too. I'm just too OCD not to finish what I started, and like you I keep hoping the next chapter will be better. There are very few books that I truly hated though. Maybe 5. lol

  3. biblioholic29 says:
    July 20, 2010 at 7:59 AM

    I used to have a big problem not finishing books that I started and then, about 9 years ago, I forced my way through LOST by Gregory Maguire. I really wasn't enjoying it, but he'd written my favorite book, so it had to get better, right? Well, it didn't and I was livid at having wasted all that time that I could have been reading something good. Now I give a book I'm not enjoying 75-100 pages if it's a plot problem and less if it's a writing problem. I refuse to subject myself to junk again!

  4. Ed says:
    July 20, 2010 at 8:09 AM

    I have times when i just force myself to read it through (most likely cause i had nothing else to do).
    But mostly i'll just skip the middle part and read the ending. Who wants to waste their time when there are plenty better books out there? :P

  5. Selva Kumar R says:
    July 21, 2010 at 2:45 AM

    Hey me too have the same problem. Even before two weeks I started the book 'Magic Seeds'. The book has nothing interesting from the first page. I tried hard to read upto some 110 pages but then I thought that I cannot finish this one. But I have planned to continue it after a break.

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