Do you ever give up on a book?

By give up, I mean you have time invested in it. Maybe money too. But you get at least half way through, throw up your hands and just surrender.

What are the causes?

It’s rare for me. But I will. I know at least a couple of times, a book has turned out to be more suited for young adults. Nothing wrong with that, but those books seem to get pretty cheesy.

Currently, I’m reading The First Fifteen Lives of Henry August. It’s quite interesting, and a whole new take on time travel. But, I’ve been busy, and can only read for about 15-20 minutes at a time. This is not the type of book that allows that. It keeps jumping back and forth not only in time, but between his different lives.

I’m getting hopelessly confused. But dammit, I’m 2/3rds the way through, and darned if I’m not going to see it to the end.

How about you? Do you always stick with it?

Only once.

Terry Brooks Sword of Shannara. I found it a slog, and ended up giving up. Weird, as it should have been right in my wheelhouse.

Yes, I will. It comes from the time that I was disliking a book while reading and ended up so ticked off by the end that I threw the book (paperback) across the room. There was also a tv show that started out great but kept getting worse that I was talked into seeing through to the end of the season. Terrible decision. I’ve learned that if I’m not enjoying it, I should just quit, because I don’t think there has ever been one that I’ve forced myself to stay through that I’ve ended up actually enjoying. If I want to the know the end that badly, I can peek with books. But if I’m not enjoying the read, the book is not fulfilling its purpose and it’s time to move on.

Very rarely. Suzanne Somers, Knockout: Interviews with Doctors Who Are Curing Cancer and How To Prevent Getting it in the First Place is one. Sadly, Michael Chabon’s Moonglow is another.

All the time. There better things to do than frustrating yourself with sub-standard literature. If a book hasn’t grabbed me by the time I hit page 50, it usually gets recycled then and there. I made it almost halfway through Dhalgren before I used it for target practice. Past experience with George R. R. Martin made me give him way too much of my time with “A Song of Ice and Fire.” When it became obvious around Volume 4 that he had no idea where to go or how to finish I gave up and trashed my copies of the books. I’ll let HBO tell me how it ends.

Yes, 3 times.
Dianetics, L.Ron Hubbard, the only book I ever threw in the fireplace. Junk.
The Twilight Saga. Bah. Quit reading at about page 10.
50 shades of Grey, stupid and sexist.

At this point I should know better than get into some popular crap. It never works out for me.

Often enough. I gave up my first time through Lord of the Rings, for instance.

All the time. I read to learn or be entertained. A book that is doing neither would waste my time and I have lots of books in my to-be-read pile.

Most of my “reading” is done via audiobook, and I’ve quit on a lot, some for poor content, others for poor reading performance, some for both.

I only have a couple of automatics (Stephen King, Diana Gabaldon), so I usually try out an author from a library first. If I like them well enough, I’ll buy their books.

I think life is too short to read bad books, so I have no qualms giving up. You may need to put this one down until you have more time and can start over.

Yes. Life’s too short, and there are too many books worth reading.

All too often I come across a novel (usually recommended by MaxTheVool) which has an interesting plot but subpar writing. I often can’t get over it. It’s so frustrating, that had the author done a better job revising, had they a more effective editor, their story would have been more successful and accessible to readers.

There was some award winning SF novel, that by the end of the first chapter - you have to know and memorize like 40 words from the alien language, and no glossary was included. So it was unreadable to me, I threw it across the room. It even had a couple successful sequels. Ah- The Faded Sun: Kesrith .
I gave up on two series: Dies the Fire & Wheel of Time- after it became obvious they were just padding the book and drawing them out. Jordan even died before he finished it. Well, ok Three series- the Xanth series by Piers Anthony, after it became sick and juvenile at the same time.

I’m coming round to this way of thinking. Especially now that my Kindle has made it so easy to find something else. And in any case, I usually have a couple of additional books lined up. Often from recommendations on the SDMB.

I only finish about half the books I start. If it isn’t interesting or well-written, I just don’t bother.

**Oh. Confession time. I remember another one I gave up on. Gore Vadal’s Lincoln. I love historical fiction, I find the time period to be fascinating, and Lincoln to be an incredible study. The book was recommended to me by one of my dearest friends.

I. Just. Couldn’t. Get. Through. It. I really don’t know why.

You bet your sweet bippy! I got within a few pages of the end of Heart of Darkness and decided I had suffered enough. As Tzigone said, you’ll rarely wind up happy with a book you had to force yourself through.

I just finished *The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August *and enjoyed it, but it did take some concentration. If I hadn’t gotten in a few extended reading sessions, I probably wouldn’t have made it.

Concur, except I borrowed my copy from the library, so I just returned it with a Post-It note on the inside jacket saying, “Dear Reader, please do not waste your time on the book. Do something more useful like hitting your thumb with a hammer repeatedly. Regards, A Concerned Stranger.”

I can tell you that now; almost everybody dies in progressively more gruesome ways, and the remaining people rule over Westeros while engaged in incestuous relationships.

And The Hound will return. Man, I ate so well on that bet.

I wished I’d given up and stopped reading Atlas Shrugged. By page 200 it was evident what sloppy evangelizing and poor characterization it was but I’d been told by so many people how it changed their life or something, so I kept at it. It did change my life, too, I guess; I realized that Objectivism isn’t any kind of deep philosophy for society or whatever it is supposed to be, and instead is just a patent justification for being a selfish asshole. So…that.


Yes, quite a lot. I get my genre fiction ebooks from the library, and there are a lot of the series that I like that they don’t have, or don’t have the ones that I haven’t read, so I do a lot of experimenting with new (to me) authors, based on the cover shown online and a blurb. I have some ironclad rules that help (with mysteries: no cooking, no cats, no serial killers, no kidnapped girls*) but turkeys are still pretty common in genre fiction.

I don’t have the pleasure of throwing the books across the room, however, I have to settle for clicking on “Remove book from this device.” It’s not nearly as satisfying, but it is closer to permanent.

*Two exceptions that I recommend: Harm Done by Ruth Rendel, and The Franchise Affair by Josephine Tey

I didn’t even get that far. I made it about 2/3 of the way through “A Game of Thrones,” and gave up on it, when I realized that every character who had any redeeming qualities either died, or had truly horrible things happen to them. I just don’t much care for dark stories, and GoT is definitely dark. I’d read a bunch of the “Wild Cards” shared-world books that Martin worked on back in the '80s and '90s (and stopped reading the series for a similar reason), so I should have known better.

I gave up about halfway through an alien invasion book once. They author had a neat idea for an alien invasion, but clunky metaphors and just too much scientific illiteracy drove me off. The final straw was when he apparently thought that gamma rays and sound waves were just different ranges of wavelengths in the same spectrum.