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Finish the book?

I was an avid reader long before I started writing. Until a few years ago, I took pride in the fact that I would always finish reading a book I had started, even if it was a chore.

Once I started writing, my reading time dwindled and became more precious and my attitude changed. Why waste valuable hours reading a book I don't enjoy? Unless it's something I need to get through for research, it shouldn't feel like homework. Reading is my leisure activity. It's supposed to be enjoyable.

There are books on the bestseller list, books that friends and family tell me I must read, that I just can't get into. The book might be fine, it might even be somewhat interesting, but there's something about it that keeps me from wanting to pick it up again once I set it down.

All the other unread books on my shelf call to me, and that bestseller languishes, possibly to end up in the never-to-be-finished pile. A good lesson to understand as a writer too. Once I figure out what secret element the books I love have, maybe I'll be on track to writing one that others can't put down.

What's your stance? Do you slog through to the bitter end, or do you figure if the author wanted to keep your attention, he should have written a better book?

Photo credit: READING © Mykola Velychko |

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  1. Reply

    Hey Gwen,
    I’ve developed a bad habit of not finishing books.

    I don’t think it’s bad when it’s a book I’m not into, because as you said – we have busy lives and there are too many books that are a great match for us.

    But sometimes when I’m so into a story, I’ll skip ahead because I NEED to know what happened. Then, once I find out, I tend to skim or skip the rest of the book. I annoy myself when I do that. And still I do it. *sigh*

  2. Reply

    Hey I left a comment here but it didn’t stay on the site. Hope WP isn’t giving you trouble. Blogger does that on occasion. I do read bad books only to see what not to write, or how not to write. I am stubborn about finishing a book even if it is not what I expected.

    • Reply

      Hmm, I’ll have to look into that, Christine. So far WP has been very reliable. I agree that there’s always something to learn from a poorly written book, but I only have so much patience. 😉

  3. Pingback: Reading habits exposed | Love & Laughter

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