Do you give books a chance?

Last week I tweeted a question:

How many of you finish a book even if it's not "grabbing" you?

Now, I had two reasons for asking this.

1) Sometimes I start reading a book with (probably way too high of) expectations. These high expectations could be due to internet buzz, a good blurb by an author I like, a good review, or the fact that I've read other books by the author and am wanting to read another one just as great.

2) As a writer, I figured it would be nice to know how many people read on just to... read on.

I was surprised at how many people said they did not continue reading - if it didn't grab them, they were done - and thought it would be neat to see more responses.

So. I set a poll up on the sidebar last Thursday, and will be closing it at the end of this week. If you guys have time to vote, please do so. I think the results will be very interesting!

Happy Monday!


Anita said...

Good poll! I'll be very interested to see the results.

I continue reading the book "only" if I feel that I'm learning something, otherwise, I put it down, and "never get back to it."

Linda G. said...

I never force myself to finish a book that I'm honestly not enjoying. There isn't enough time in the day to read the really good books out there, so why would I waste that precious commodity on something I don't even like? Besides, I had my fill of required reading in college and grad school. ;)

Jennifer Shirk said...

I do read on even if it doesn't "grab" me. I like to give authors a chance. :)

If I'm halfway thru the book and it becomes bloody painful for me to finish, then I put the book down. That's happened a handful of times.

Anonymous said...

I really try to finish a book once I start. It takes a really bad book for me to close it and never reopen it, especially if I've payed for it.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I might give it until about halfway if it's just interesting enough. Sometimes I abandon it in the first chapter though.

Lila Swann said...

I'm someone who loves the act of reading. While the individual stories, characters, plots, voices are great, the act of reading in itself is enough for me. It's served me well in school. As my AP Lit teacher says, "I really don't care if you liked the book or not. It doesn't matter if you did. You're reading to discover truth, to discover someone else's experiences, and if those don't particularly flip your switch, I really don't care."

And he doesn't mean that in a bad/harsh way. He means it as, the point of reading literature is not to like things. There are so many tough issues in the world (contained in literature) that aren't pretty/likable/things we would generally be drawn to. But we should still read about them, to inform ourselves of the world around us and about people that are totally unlike us.

With that said, YA is a little bit different from Crime and Punishment. I continued with Catching Fire, even though I didn't like it, because I'd already read The Hunger Games and adored Katniss and Peeta and I wanted to read them. (The same sorta thing that drives the fanfiction craze, I doesn't matter how bad it is, people just want to spend a few extra hours with characters that they love.)

I stopped reading Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater just the other day. I think it was personal choice - Grace & Sam weren't the sorts of people I would be friends with, and I didn't like spending time with them, and I got halfway through and just stopped.

Travener said...

That was tought, because sometimes I just set it aside but sometimes, if I've gotten in deep enough and sort of want to see how it comes out, I'll skim through to the end.

Robyn Bavati said...

I generally won't read on if I'm not getting anything out of it; life's too short, but there are exceptions. I will read on if the book has been highly recommended by people whose opinions I respect, or if the book has done exceptionally well - as I'll want to know why. But even then, I won't read on if I feel I'm really wasting my time. I like the idea of the poll. It's an interesting question.