Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Once we're out of school, most of us have the luxury of only reading what we want to read. So I want to encourage you to stop reading any book at any point if you don't find it interesting enough. Our reading time is limited and precious; why fill it with books we're not enjoying?
Steve Leveen has a great article entitled Giving Up on Books, where (among other things) he writes about the 50-page rule that some use: "if the book hasn’t grabbed them by then, they give it the heave-ho."
On Matt's Idea Blog, commenter Karen S. says: I've decided to stop reading a book anywhere from the first page to 10% from the end. As soon as I realize "I don't care" what else the author has to say, I stop.
And Neil Aquino, in his blog TexasLiberal, has a nice little post entitled It's OK to Stop Reading a Book in the Middle.
In the wonderful New York Times article Divorce That Book, author Laura Miller speaks with a number of authors about their own reading habits, and when they give up on a book. Just one of my favorites: Diane Johnson, author of "Le Divorce," writes via e-mail. "I quite often lose books, leave them on buses or whatever," which she interprets as her unconscious relieving her of a duty when her conscious mind is playing the martinet.
And in response to that NYT article, reader Kitty Burns Flore writes that after shelling out $12-30 for a book, she feels compelled to try to finish it. But as even she admits, "...in the end, you've wasted not only a chunk of cash but too many precious hours as well."
[photo from Old Shoe Woman / Judy Baxter]