Somehow we get it into our head that if we pick up a book to read for pleasure, we have a moral obligation to finish it. That’s ridiculous. For starters, if a published book doesn’t grab you on the first page, don’t take it home. If that seems too draconian, you can also invoke the Page 99 Test, which supposedly can reveal the quality of the whole book to you.
Once you get that book home, you still can’t be sure you will like it. (Unless it’s the latest book from your most beloved writer in the world.) Nancy Pearl of Book Lust recommends the Rule of 50. She says you should give every book 50 pages to decide whether you can commit to finishing it. If you can’t, give it up. No regrets. Others recommend 100 pages or even 33% as rules of thumbing through pages before you give up.
Well, I’m stubborn, so I usually get a little further into a book before I give up. Also, I’ve heard it said that when you’re reading to learn from a work of fiction, 150 pages will tell you enough about the writer’s style for that book. So I’ve settled on 150 pages.
So, what books have you given up on?