Random Chat: To finish or not to finish

What makes a good blurb?

Step up, take a seat, make yourself at home and let’s chat!

I posted previously about this topic and would like to elaborate on it now.

So today’s random chat is:

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.

2) Guilt.
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!


13 thoughts on “Random Chat: To finish or not to finish

  1. This is a great topic. I have only ever dropped two books unfinished in my life, and that is Clan of the Cave Bear and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I find that I will not drop a book unless it is absolutely boring me to death. I’m with you on that feeling of obligation towards finishing it. It’s a constant tugging on your mind that will drive you insane.
    However, I think that you shouldn’t feel the need to complete a book. It’s all personal preference here, not everyone is going to be able to enjoy the same book, and yes, the author took the time to write it and send it to you, or whatnot, but in the end, if you can’t finish it, it’s not the book exactly, more the fact that it doesn’t appeal to what you enjoy in books. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am so happy you understand and relate to what I was saying! It’s crazy to put this much pressure on us , right?

      I think I might end up with a middle term solution, whatever that is. Perhaps when I feel a reading slump coming, I will pause it. Or something.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally get this, I have around 5 books so far that I didn’t finish. I also feel all of the reasons above about DNFing a book. However, finishing a book I’m not really into take me weeks to finish and I often end up having a slump. And that really sucks since there are so many books in my TBR now.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have some books I shelf as “on hold” rather than “dnf”. I think if the story is quite promising and have a slow start, I will probably move on and finish it another time. But if the book was too disappointing, I will just dnf it right away.

    Yes, that’s true. I always pause whatever I’m reading before the slump fully kicks in.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve had to leave a few books unfinished, and I find myself more likely to do it now that I have such a huge TBR pile. Unless I have a very specific reason to force myself to finish a book I am not enjoying (such as a review expected by a publisher or author) I tend to let the bad ones go and move on to something else.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: June 2015 Wrap-Up | Ana's Lair

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