Wednesday, July 15, 2009

How long will you give a book?

When I was younger, I would usually read a book completely through, whether I liked it or not. Of course, if I didn't like it, I'd gripe forever about wasting all that time on it. haha


However, I find that over the last few years, I have less patience for a book that doesn't draw me in within, say, the first 3 chapters or so. When that happens, I'll usually put it down and never read it again. I'm not sure if this is a result of being older, or because of being a writer. Or maybe a deadly combo of both. haha


What about you? Will you read a book from start to finish, even if you don't like it that much (or hate it completely)? If not, how far will you read before you close it?


(*Interesting side note: the same applies with my TV and movie-watching habits. If a show or movie doesn't have me hooked within approx. 15 minutes or has wretched pacing or dialogue or something, I find I'm too impatient to sit and watch it all and will usually stop.)

11 comments:

  1. If I start a book I finish it with a couple of exceptions. If the book broaches a Taboo topic for me then I will put it down - I have about about 3 to 4 of them.

    TV - by the first commercial break.
    Movies - in the theater sit through figured I paid $12.50 I am watching it (unless its super scary then I jump ship quick!)

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  2. It's gotten so bad for me (being an editor and a writer) that if I'm not hooked the first 10 pages, I put the book down. I find it very hard to fully escape into a book these days. Maybe I'm not reading the right books!

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  3. Generally I give a book approximately 100 pages to get me going, but I'll put it down much sooner if I absolutely hate it from the beginning. If the main character is completely unlikeable in the first 20 pages, then I'm done.

    Movies in the theater get about 15-20 minutes. I can always make more money, but I can't get that 2 hours of my life back if I've wasted it watching some piece of crap movie.

    If the TV is bad, I grab a book or my knitting and kind of listen to it, if it's something someone else in the room is watching; otherwise I'll just turn it off and sit in the quiet reading or knitting.

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  4. I'm still pretty patient with books...some of my favorite books don't start with a bang, so I'm always afraid I'll miss a great book if I don't give it a fair reading... I'm even more patient with books that were strongly recommended by certain people whose tastes I know are similar to mine...

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  5. What Cara said. I'll give books longer if they've been recommended to me. I try to be a little more patient with world building books too: fantasy or sci fi or epic historical. Otherwise, the three chapter rule applies.

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  6. Oh, good point you guys--sometimes it can depend on if it's recommended, or what genre it is. Fair enough!

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  7. I have put books down that seem well written but that I couldn't get into--and then come back to them later. Sometimes that works. However, last night, I tried reading a book that just seemed poorly written. I can't NOT finish it...but I skim skim skim to the end. I just can't leave it undone for some reason.

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  8. While I'm usually a 50 page rule girl, sometimes I'll give it a little more or a little less. My readers put in their expertise on this subject last Saturday too if you're interested.

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  9. If the writing is good but the plot/story is bad I will usually try and finish it. But if the writing is bad then I usually give up after the first 3 chapters. Or if it's a book that was highly recommended I will usually finish it out of respect for the person who recommended it.

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  10. My patience is getting thinner and thinner, too. But I DO try to give an author 3 chapters--5 max--to hook me then I must put it down forever.

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  11. It has to be BAD for me to not finish. In general I know within the first few pages, and rarely buy anything without reading a few paragraphs quickly.

    It's rare I bang a wall, but when I do it's almost always before chapter 2; and it's a book I didn't scan first.

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