Sunday, July 24, 2011

How long do you give?

Following on from my blog the other day about my book-buying addiction (yep, bought another on the weekend, this time while at the hair dresser's would you believe it), I thought I'd talk about how long I give a book before I give up on it.

Years ago, when I was still thin (although I thought I was hugely fat) because I hadn't had three kids and had all the time in the world to read and write, I'd usually read the whole of a book even if it didn't really grip me. (NB. The exception of this was in high school English classes - my teacher chose some really boring books and let's face it, at fifteen I had more important things to do than read. Like talk boys with my best girls!) Nowadays things have changed a LOT.

Me-time is a thing of the past or very, very rare at least. I have three sons who are adorable but demanding and a business with my hubby that takes a lot of my time too. Not to mention all the stuff that goes with running and house (of which I'm not particularly good at). And the fact I'm trying to write another book so I'm not a one-book wonder! All these things mean that the time I have to read is VERY limited. I try to read every night before I go to sleep but sometimes this is only for fifteen minutes. This means the amount of books I can read have been drastically reduced.

So nowadays, I give a book a couple of chapters max and if the author hasn't got me desperate to keep turning the pages by then, I ditch the book and pick out another one from my MASSIVE TBR pile.

How long do YOU give a book before it gets swapped for a more worthy one?


Edie said...

It depends, if it an author I've enjoyed before, or an interesting idea I'll give it an extra chapter or two.
But as a general rule, two-three chapters, I have no patience anymore.

Rachael Johns said...

LOL on no patience Edie. That's me also, but you're right about a favourite author. I give them a bit longer too :) Thanks for visiting!

scarlet wilson said...

Rach - I won't let any book get the better of me. I've bought that sucker so I'm going to read it! If I hate it, I tend to tell my friends, I don't do bad reviews. But I like to give everything a chance. What I really hate is when I've read sparkling reviews for a book, order it, wait for it, read it and.....just blah!!!!

Suzanne Brandyn said...

Great topic. I usually give a novel about three chapters. If I'm reading to find out why that author got published I keep reading. A recent one I read, (top author) it was a painstaking three chapters and then four could have been five until it really got me in. From that chapter on it was unreal.
I hate the dragging on. I love the action upfront, and please explain later. lol. :)

Jackie Ashenden said...

I used to be very good and try and finish a book, even if I hated it. But these days my patience with something that doesn't grab is pretty thin. Still, it's not often I don't finish something.

joanne pibworth said...

I tend to force myself to the end, it's like I HAVE to finish - gawd knows why. The last one I read and found myself struggling with was, interestingly enough, Stieg Larsson's, the first of the trilogy. ( I feel OK saying which book it was in this case, what with it being such a phenomenon and all that!I) I really, really had to plough on through it, I just didn't get the hype even right at the end. I have the other two in my tbr pile but daren't pick them up, i just know it'll be another slog.

Mel Teshco said...

Hi Rach,

like you I'm lucky to read for 15 minutes every night, just can't seem to find the time. I give a good three or four chapters, unless the writing is really *really* bad.

Coleen Kwan said...

I tend to force myself to finish a book I hate. Maybe it's only to say to myself "Well, if that kind of rubbish can be published..."
However, if I have to read the same page several times over then I definitely abandon the book.

Christina Phillips said...

If I start a book I generally tend to finish it, even if it annoys me. Not sure why, old habits! The only exceptions over the last couple of years have been Eragon and Twilight. Just couldn't get through the first chapters. Normally though I love all the YAs my son tells me I should read!!!

Nas Dean said...

I used to read all books, but now I seem to discriminate, if I'm reading an my Kindle and get a print, the Kindle gets a rest and I'm reading the print. So you can imagine my list of half-read books on the Kindle!

But to answer your question, yes, if I'm not into a book I put it away and start a new one from my TBR!

Aideen said...

Hi Rach,

You sound ridiculously busy trying to keep up with life! I have the four boys, who keep me rather busy too, but I have no outside business that needs tending to. You're some woman for one woman! Anyway, I'll give a book one chapter. Yeah, one and that's it. If its failed to grab me by the end of that chapter, I pass it along to one of my sisters who'll read it through and tell me the ending. But, I will give my favourite authors an extra chance!! They get two extra chapters. I don't have the time to be diddling with books that don't do it for me, so grab me or lose me. Simple as.

Rachael Johns said...

Thanks everyone for your comments - I'm really interested to see how many of you slog through a book you're not enjoying. I really have no willpower!

LOL on not enjoy Steig Larson's book Joanne. I WAS going to read it before I saw the movie but hubby got the movie and I watched it. Now I'm not sure I could read it!

Christina - really interesting that you didn't like Twilight. I read it all but wasn't really sure why. In fact, I read the first three books but wasn't really sure why. I made hubby read the last and tell me what happened :)

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