How long do you persevere with a book?

It used to be that I would finish any book I started, no matter how much of a chore that turned out to be. I always felt that I might be missing a truly great book by giving up, even when it had become obvious to me that there was no enjoyment to be had by pressing on until the end.

I eventually decided that life is far too short to struggle on, womanfully, reading a book which failed to engage me but I would generally try to read at least half before giving up.

I must be getting old and crotchety because I’ve just given up on a book after only 20 pages. And I feel guilty.

I shoot for 50 pages if I’m not sure, but let’s face it, if you know at 20 pages it ain’t happening, you might as well quit then.

Bravo! Isn’t it liberating?

I used to read every book I ever started until the bitter end even if I didn’t like it. Then I learned to skim the book from the point that I got sick of it. Now I can just chuck them aside on page 1. If I think the content may be valuable I will try to persist for a while but if it is just entertainment reading I put it down, pick up another book and forget I ever started it.

30-40 pages unless a ridiculous plot point or character is introduced earlier. I read mostly sci-fi so there’s a lot of room for this.

I ditched one book because one of the characters was described as having four eyes - one pair on top of the other. I stopped dead at that line.

I read for pleasure, so if I’m not enjoying a book I will put it down. Even if I’m 90% of the way through it. How long I persist in the beginning depends on how highly recommended the book was.

When I recommend a book, I try to warn people if it starts off slowly. I would never have made it past the first two chapters of my first Peter F. Hamilton book if I hadn’t been warned.

I’m like the OP used to be and finish practically every book I start. I think I’ve quit on maybe ten books in my whole life (and Ullyssees but that doesn’t count.) When I do it is usually because I have a very clear idea of what it is I am meant to enjoy and I don’t. If I’m used confused or lukewarm or just not all that thrilled I will read on and actually I end up getting something out of the vast majority of books. Guess I’m easily amused.

I never knew when to drop a class either – I persevere through the most turgid awful stuff that I don’t like. I guess I just like reading (Cereal boxes, toothpaste ingredients, signs) so, I keep reading even though I don’t like a book. I think it goes back to something I was told as a child. You can’t judge something until you have fully experienced it. If you leave after the first act, you really can’t speak to how bad the whole show is.

I have been known to read other books in between books I’m not enjoying (ie two or three books at a time, though as I grow older, I don’t do that as much).

I used to persevere until the very last page. Robert Jordan finally showed my the light.

I ground and cursed my way frustratingly through the first 4 of his WOT series, before finally tossing them in my basement where unworthy paperbacks are exiled to mold and dust.

Now, I give a book only 100 pages. If it doesn’t have me by then, the book (and likely the author as well) will never be touched by me again.

I can’t think of any at the moment, but there are probably many books that start out not so good but get much better later on. for some reason it took me 3 times to start The Dragonriders of Pern. Once I got started I liked it.
I can’t think of a book I’ve stopped reading, but there have been series.
If I had to make a rule, I’d say, read the 1st chapter, and the 2nd if it contains different characters.


Me too. The first few paragraphs are enough for me to tell if I’ll like the author’s style, and style is more important to me than the story.

If I like the writing but find it hard to get into the story, I’ll keep reading, or put it aside and try again later. That happened with Steven Erikson’s first book, Gardens of the Moon. I was totally lost and confused right off. But I’ve since read the book twice, and will read it again.