Do you read every fiction book you begin?
Or, only those that come alive with the imagination?
Or, only those that can be read in one sitting / day?
Or, . . . ?
I try to finish most books I begin, especially if I've bought it. Some books however are impossible to finish if they're boring or badly written. For example, I could not finish Twilight by Stephanie Meyer as I thought it was terrible. I also bought a self-published book called Island Shifters and got bored with it pretty quickly. But most books I will try to finish, as politeness to the writer as well as the desire to not have 'wasted' money.
I finish just about every book I read, even if it's a terrible book, because I have a bit of an OCD thing about it. Unless I lose the book, I finish it. The only exception to that is Fifty Shades of Gray, which has been sitting on my Kindle for about two years now, partially finished. I couldn't get through that to save my life.
I've been an avid reader for 67 of my 71 years, and for a long time I've been adamant that a book must be good to make it a worthwhile read. It needn't be great--not every book will be so masterful that I'm sorry to reach the end--yet, if it's mediocre I won't waste my time on it.
The mediocrity of a book is nearly always evident in the first few pages--sometimes, the first few paragraphs. If it can't grab my attention and hold it (and I read with an editor's eye--can't help it), I won't bother going further.
Not long ago I began reading a book by an author I'd long enjoyed reading, but this time he wrote using a gimmick (beginning the story at the end and writing backward, chapter by chapter).
Because I'd always liked this writer's previous novels, I spent more time than I normally would on what became unwieldy, uncomfortable and downright unpleasant trying to hold the various threads together in my memory and keep up with the 'backward' plot. I won't call it mediocre writing because one couldn't use that technique without cleverness and a great deal of organization. It was, however, a huge disappointment. I gave up after a few chapters and will be reluctant to read any more of his work unless reviews show he doesn't try that stunt again.
I'm a fast reader, so there are few books I can't or don't finish in one sitting. They must engage my imagination, and the writing must be good enough that my editorial eye doesn't cause me to become overly distracted. When a book captures my imagination and holds it, that, to me, is the joy of reading.
I only finish those books which retain my attention at least up to the first 4 to 5 chapters. If a book is not interesting even after 20% contents are over, there's not much chance of it being interesting after that. For example, I just could not finish Far From The Madding Crowd. I know it's a classic but it was just too uneventful - the hero and the heroine only meet after 7 whole chapters of scenery description.
No, I don't finish every novel I start reading. If the plot doesn't draw me in within the first one or two chapters, I'm done. Call me a prude, but if I hit a spot with a lot of graphic sex that's not important to the plot, I'm done. And finally, there are those independent authors who give the rest of us a bad name - the first few pages are so full of typos, grammar mistakes, and formatting errors so I'm done.
I try very hard to finish every book that I start, but I don't always succeed. A book will have to lose my interest multiple times, over multiple reading sessions, for me to finally give up on it. Sometimes I'll even go back and try again years later. But then I remind myself that some books just aren't for everyone.
I try to read every book I start. But if interest starts to diminish, and stays diminished, then I donate the book.
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