When it comes to reading, I can count on one hand the books (fiction, specifically) that I’ve started and left unfinished. And one of those wasn’t so much abandoned intentionally as forgotten about when a new school semester started. There’s a part of me that is, admittedly, kinda proud of this. But that being said, I’ve been wondering lately if I might not be better served by being more willing to make the call that a book isn’t working for me and letting it go to the Did-Not-Finish pile.
Of course, a part of this is that I don’t generally start books I don’t have a good chance of liking. Fair enough– I don’t think there’s many people who would pick up a book to read with the assumption that they’ll hate it. And a large majority of my reading list is made up of books recommended to me by friends who generally have a good feeling for what I’ll like and what I probably won’t. Which, maybe, explains why the two books in recent memory that I was tempted to put down (but didn’t/haven’t) were both ones I picked up on the recommendation of strangers and stuck with on the Principle Of The Thing.
Or, in other words, because I was too stubborn to put them down and switch to something else.
And to some extent, I think that stubbornness serves me well. Sometimes a book takes a little while to get going, and then something click into place and you can’t put the darn thing down because you find that it’s the most engaging thing you’ve read in months. But sometimes it’s just not going to happen, no matter how much of the story you slog through. And that’s where I run into trouble, because I will force myself to finish a book for the sake of finishing it, when perhaps it would be wiser to put it down and, if I care enough, look up the ending on Wikipedia.
So, the next time I run into a book that I just don’t find myself enjoying, maybe I’ll try putting it down and accepting that it’s not for me.