I posted previously about this topic and would like to elaborate on it now.
So today’s random chat is:
TO FINISH OR NOT TO FINISH A BOOK YOU ARE JUST NOT INTO?
Ever since I started writing reviews of the books I read, I have never left a book unfinished.
Before that, I can probably count by the fingers on one hand the amount of books I dropped before finishing.
Why? Let’s see.
1) I hate leaving anything unfinished.
Quitting on something, be it a book or something else, always leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.
I never feel closure and this dreadful feeling will usually keep gnawing on my mind long after the deed is done. Or rather, not done.
Telling myself I will get to it later also does not help, since leaving things pending puts an insane amount of pressure on me.
Weird, I know. Been like that my whole life, though.
Most of the books I get these days are free from authors or sites like Netgalley. That means I will feel obligated to read the whole thing because a review is expected, or rather, required. Which gets us to point 3:
3) Not fair to rate.
If I don’t finish a book, how can I rate it? How will I ever know if the pages I have not read don’t turn my opinion around, even if just by one star? Granted, some sites allow people to only write reviews and not rate, but that does not really matter to me because of problem #2.
4) I already spent time reading it, might as well finish.
If I don’t finish it, then it won’t count to my read books count – not that I worry about it too much. But if I have already wasted time reading a chunk, why not finish? Because as far as I can see, you need to read quite a bit before realizing you don’t like it, right?
5) I will never know if the book will grow on me.
On more than one occasion, I started by not enjoying a book and then it completely turned on me and my opinion changed and actually did feel engaged by the story.
So these are the main reasons why I don’t leave a book unfinished.
Now I realize this is probably not the best attitude to have towards the situation. Why?
1) Since I try to be fair in my reviews, especially the negative ones, I don’t skim. If I do not like a book, I try to include specific examples of what and why, and even citations. Obviously, that means it will take me even longer to finish the book.
2) Taking so long to finish a book I am not enjoying often leads to reading slumps.
Reading for obligation is the worst. It takes the joy out of an act that is supposed to bring relaxation to one’s life.
3) Sure, I may have wasted a bit of time reading the beginning of the book, but that doesn’t mean I need to keep wasting more time, right? I should probably pick up something I know I will enjoy reading, to avoid a creeping slump.
So I keep weighing the pros and cons and have not really been able to reach a conclusion. Ultimately, what keeps me from dropping a book unfinished is the commitment I took to the writer or publisher to rate and review it.
At the end of the day, time is precious, and so is keeping such an amazing activity enjoyable, so I do wonder if I should change my attitude.
What do you think of all this?
Have you ever had similar issues?
What is your method for leaving a book unfinished? As in, how do you decide to drop it? And do you write a review? What about posting a rating?
Tell me everything!