Last week, participants in The Broke and the Bookish’s “Top Ten Tuesday” posted reading and blogging resolutions for the New Year. I wasn’t one of them. For one thing, I don’t really do New Year’s resolutions; and secondly, because I try to write and schedule my posts ahead of time, I don’t do many daily/weekly memes any more unless the prompts are posted in advance.
However, I did read quite a few lists of other people’s resolutions, and one that appeared on several of them jumped out at me: “Abandon books.” Set a page threshold and stick to it; if there’s no book/reader connection by that point, call it a day and move on. I can understand making that kind of a deal with yourself, but I really don’t think I could do it.
I rarely abandon books. I sometimes discard them without reading them at all, but once I start a book, I’m usually in it for the duration. However, I do sometimes set them aside in a special category I call “it’s not working for me…now” with the intention of picking them back up “eventually.” “Eventually” is its own form of TBR Purgatory.
When I do consider quitting on a book, it’s on a case-by-case basis. I make every effort not to bail on books I’ve been sent for review; even if I end up not liking one, I feel like I need to see it through to develop an informed opinion. For others, I have no hard-and-fast rule regarding page counts or anything. I know many readers will give a book a set number of pages – 50, 75, 100 – and stop if they’re not enjoying it by the time they reach that point, but I just don’t. The primary reason I’m reluctant to do that is that I’ve had reading experiences where a book hasn’t really clicked for me until the halfway point or later, and if I’d stopped too soon, I’d have missed out on something really worthwhile. (Jackie at Farm Lane Books has taken a creative approach to this quandary with her new “Read or Reject?” feature.)
However, knowing me, there may be other issues underlying this: a discomfort with leaving things undone, and/or some good ol’ Catholic-girl guilt.
As an aside, my copy of The Historian is approaching the fourth anniversary of its NOT being officially abandoned! I came across it in my recent book purge. The bookmark’s still ¾ in. I left it that way and put it back on the shelf.
I know that sticking it out isn’t always the best use of my reading time, but I’ll probably keep doing it anyway. What about you – do you bail on books?
New additions to TBR Purgatory:
The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst (a book I won from LibraryThing Early Reviewers back in August just showed up this week!)
New to the Wishlist:
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot (currently reading)