17 Comments
Oct 17, 2021Liked by John Warner

I slog through to the end of every book I read. It’s something from my Catholic school upbringing I think

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haha, thanks for satiating our curiosity!

(For the record - I rarely abandon fiction partway through, though I do sometimes speed up if I'm not enjoying it. Nonfiction I read piecemeal more than not).

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Oct 17, 2021Liked by John Warner

I'm with you, John Warner; like you, I keep plenty of alternatives at the ready.

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Oct 17, 2021Liked by John Warner

I'm embarrassed to admit I generally don't pass the 50-page mark, I love to read. and there are so many captivating books waiting for me.

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Oct 17, 2021Liked by John Warner

Life is too short to finish a book I don't enjoy. There are so many others waiting.

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Oct 17, 2021Liked by John Warner

I am a willing abandoner. I have never felt the need to waste my time on a book I don't enjoy when there are so many other books waiting for me!

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Oct 17, 2021Liked by John Warner

I am a willing abandoner- 50 -100 page and if I am not engaged I move on - except for book club books of course - I slog through to the bitter end 99% of the time.

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Oct 17, 2021Liked by John Warner

I’m a willing abandoner — 30 pages and that’s it. There are too many thought-provoking, life-altering, hilariously entertaining book possibilities out there to suffer through one that doesn’t march any of those categories. And I kove your line about buy as many copies . . .

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Oct 17, 2021Liked by John Warner

I have way too many books waiting to be read to invest time reading something that bores me. That said, I will sometimes give a book a second change, because I have found that my mood, or what's going on in my life, can affect my ability to appreciate it.

And I will add another coincidence: literally two minutes ago I read this article in the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/oct/12/the-20-page-rule-how-much-time-should-you-give-a-devastatingly-boring-book (Because my other Sunday morning book newsletter is the Guardian's "Bookmarks".)

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"Chance", not "change". I really should proofread before I hit "post".

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founding
Oct 17, 2021Liked by John Warner

I used to finish every book but not any more. Although if I'm thinking about quitting, I'll read several reviews of the book by people whose opinions I respect and decide if I need to keep on a little further. I still have plans to return to Ducks, Newburyport some day when I get caught up on my TBR pile.

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Oct 17, 2021Liked by John Warner

I don't like to give up on a book. At all. But I will. A book I should have given up on: I Am A Cat. I didn't give up but it was a miserable slog for me. I learned my lesson and now will occasionally just let a book go.

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Oct 17, 2021Liked by John Warner

This is the never-ending argument...to quit a book before it's finished. I'm of the belief that after 50 pages, I should be able to make this decision without guilt. It's not that the book is badly written, but that the book is not for me. We all have different "tastes" when it comes to books, so why slog through the ones that are not personally satisfying or interesting? For many years, I had the following Francis Bacon quote on my classroom wall for my middle level ELA students at NBJH. "Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some to be chewed and digested." We need to give ourselves permission to NOT finish a book; there are too many other books waiting for us to taste! Thanks for the opportunity to comment. Diane Horban

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Oct 17, 2021Liked by John Warner

Oh my goodness, John, I'm now around 250 pages into Cloud Cuckoo Land, and was feeling exactly the same, that although Doerr's storytelling and craft is wonderful as always, I jut wasn't invested in any of the characters (aside from Konstance, perhaps, although we see so little of her), and I have Ozeki, Groff and The Prophets waiting on my nightstand.

So this morning I was debating whether to pick it up again, on the verge of allowing myself to move on, but I've paid full price for this darn thing, and invested so much time already, so I decided to pause and look at reviews (which I almost never do), to see whether readers who'd finished were glad they had. And that's when your message popped into my Inbox. As I started reading your post I was thinking, wouldn't it be funny if...?

All right, then, I'll carry on!

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Oct 17, 2021Liked by John Warner

Welp, as a followup, I'm now almost 400 pages in, so obviously I'm enjoying it. Doerr knows how to tell a story (and in this case a story about the power of engaging stories.) I'm enjoying my time with it so much.

So going back to your theme, how do you know when you've given a book the chance it deserves? Shouldn't 200+ pages be enough to make a fair decision? I guess like you're saying, much of it has to do with trust in an author, and I did realize that even when I wasn't connecting, I certainly wasn't bored. Thank you for the nudge in the right direction.

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Oh my lord I was looking at my book abandoning ways as a shameful secret. And now I realize there are more of us? Forget shame. I will stand by how engaged and curious I am as the interpreter of my decisions.

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I do quit books and I had exactly the same experience with Cloud Cuckoo Land.

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