Musings From A Bookmammal

Musing Mondays–I’m Not A Quitter, But . . .


Click here to play along!

Click here to play along!

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB that asks you to muse about one of several “bookish” questions… or, you can just ramble on about anything you like that pertains to books! You can join in by clicking the graphic above. Go ahead–it’s fun!

Here’s my Musing Mondays ramble for this week:

stack of booksWell, the first book I started in 2014 is not going along as I’d hoped. I started reading Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery by Robert Kolker because I enjoy reading true crime and the premise sounded intriguing—a series of unsolved murders of Long Island prostitutes whose common link was that they had all advertised on Craigslist.

Now, I knew going in that this book wasn’t going to be a lighthearted read. However, so far it is beyond depressing—and I haven’t even gotten to the parts where anyone gets murdered yet. I’m often reading more than one book at a time, so I’ve already started another, very different book that I’m really enjoying. I’ve read about 100 pages out of nearly 400 in Lost Girls, but I haven’t touched it in a couple of days.

I don’t finish every book that I start. My feeling is that unless you’re required to read a book for a class, it’s OK to put a book in the DNF pile and move on. There are just too many great books out there to spend valuable reading time on books you don‘t enjoy. Sometimes, though, I think I’m too quick to abandon a book.

So, my questions to you—my fellow booklovers–are these:  How do you decide when it’s time to abandon a book? Do you give a book a set number of pages before you move on? What was the last book you abandoned, and why? Or are you a reader who makes a point of finishing every book that you start? Please share!

Author: bookmammal

I love books, reading, writing, cooking, eating, reading while eating, and sharing thoughts about all of the above–plus a bit more! I usually post about topics relating to books and literacy during the week, and then participate in a variety of non-bookish memes on the weekend. Please feel free to join in! Some random things about me– –I have multiple bookshelves in every room of my home except the bathroom. They’re all filled to bursting. They help to make my house my home. –I have two cats who I love dearly, but who I definitely do NOT dress in human clothing. Ever. –I’ve never had a cavity. –I make a mean spaghetti sauce. –I’m a newcomer to yoga and I love it. –My day is not complete without a little chocolate.

25 thoughts on “Musing Mondays–I’m Not A Quitter, But . . .

  1. I only remember 1 book I DNF: Ulysses by James Joyce (but I still hope to read it some day). I’m very picky with the books I read, so usually I don’t get disappointed very often. But sometimes I do, but then I just keep on going until the last page.

    • Interesting . . . I’m more apt to borrow any book from the library that I even think I might find interesting. I figure that since I’m not paying for it, what do I have to lose? And then if it just doesn’t capture my interest, I set it aside. Sometimes I do think I need to give books more of a chance than I do, though.

  2. I try to read half a book before I decide to put it down, put it’s always sad to do so, even after having given it a chance…

  3. I try to read between 75-100 pages before i move on to another book. The last book I threw onto my NF pile was “Flowerbed of State” a cozy mystery. I made it to page 100 of 265 pages. I found it very boring. I turned to the last chapter, read it, and found out I was right, I had guessed whodunit.

  4. I struggle with when to stop. I’m always afraid it’ll get better. I guess the way I decide is if it feels like a chore to read it and I’m not enjoying it. Reading is an enjoyable past time for me so if I’m not enjoying it, what’s the point?

  5. Oh, I heard about this book and was thinking of giving it a try. Hmmm….

    I rarely abandon a book. I’m just too stubborn. I can only remember not finishing three or four books, the last one being because the back cover blurb didn’t match the content and I was ticked that I spent money on it. The one I abandoned the quickest–maybe two chapters in–The Witches of Eastwick.

    • Maybe I’m just not in the right mood for it right now–I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the book. I’m just not enjoying it at all. Your mileage may vary . . . 🙂

  6. It’s tough to abandon a book. For me, if it is emotionally affecting me in a negative way, I put it aside.

  7. I hate to abandon books. But I’ve also gotten to the point where if I put it down and just don’t pick it up, it’s not a big deal to skip. The most recent book that was a DNF was Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings which I’ve since seen on several “Best of 2013” lists. Definitely makes me scratch my head.

    • Oh my gosh–I am so with you on “The Interestings”! I’ve really liked some of Wolitzer’s other books and was looking forward to this one–it just didn’t do ANYTHING for me. Another one I didn’t finish . . .

  8. I used to feel that I had to finish every book I started but now I can put them aside. If I’m actively disliking it by the time I’m 20% of the way through it goes to DNF. If I’m not sure I’ll go further to see if things improve. If a book is that depressing I don’t see the point in carrying on…. thanks for the warning though as I thought this sounded like my sort of book 🙂

    • Maybe I’m just not in the right mood for it right now–you may like it!
      When I think about it, I probably do make myself read at least 20% before I give up–some books take a bit longer to get going than others, after all.

  9. I give up on a book forever and ever when I can’t stand any of the characters. Others, I figure I am just not in the right mood to read and come back to it later.

    Sonia Lal

  10. My philosophy on not finishing a book is that if I get half way or almost half way through and I am still truly not interested in anything that’s happening, it’s ok to stop reading. I used to feel that if I started a book I should finish it but because of all the books I have staked up I don’t really have time to waste on a book I’m not in to.

    ~April @ Once Upon a Coffin

  11. I do put book down and not finish. The last one was Blade Song. I did not realize it was part of a series and I needed to read the first books before it would make sense.

  12. Like you I’m often reading several books at once. If there is a book that isn’t really grabbing me then eventually I won’t go back to it, although it often isn’t a conscious decision. I do however usually give it several tries before completely giving up.

  13. I have several non fiction books in which I’ll read a few pages, weekly. I do this because of the subject matter. It’s a question of my wanting to know why something or other happened, whether or not it’s still going on in government, and being dead sure it is – always a disheartening discovery! I read these four or five books along with the sort of ones, like a Donna Leon, say, that calm me down and give me a break from real life.

    • That’s definitely one of the advantages of having more than one book going at a time–you always have something ready to read, no matter what frame of mind you’re in!

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