WHEN TO GIVE UP ON A BORING BOOK

How long do you persist with a book you're not enjoying before finally giving up on it?
  1. I used to have a rule that I never left books unfinished
  2. Or at least, if I did, I would keep the half-read book on my shelf for years, haunting me and making me feel guilty for not having finished it, yet being unable to throw it away because one day, I WOULD finish it
    'Read me...read me...' it would whisper
  3. Even though I KNEW that when I did pick up the book again, I'd have to start from the beginning because I'd forgotten what had happened
  4. But gradually over time this (ultimately pointless rule) has been forgotten
    Life's too short, right?
  5. Now I find myself faced with the dilemma, for how long do I keep reading a book even though it's boring me?
  6. The book currently causing this problem is The People's Act Of Love by James Meek
    It's an international bestseller apparently.
  7. I have read 3 chapters, which is 50 out of 357 pages
    About 14% of the way through (oh god only 14%!)
  8. So the question is, for how long should I carry on reading it?
    What's your cut-off point, percentage-wise?
  9. P.S. I don't HATE the book. It's even fairly well-written. I just don't care about the story or the characters
  10. If you are doing math instead of reading, clearly it's time to move on. There are so many (so many!) good to great to amazing books, we readers should never have to do math again.
    If you are not engaged with story or characters in any way: put it down
    Suggested by   @andersun
  11. If I don't feel the urge to read it all the time, I give up on it!
    This has changed my readerly life. There are SO MANY stinking books; there's no need to barrel on if I *have* to make time to read it in my day.
    Suggested by   @ashsevans
  12. When you are doing percentiles on how much longer you will be reading it...let it go!
    Suggested by   @notme
  13. I used to have a 50-page rule, and generally still stick with it. But now I will also put down a book if it's just not the book I feel like reading right now.
    Personally, I don't think percentage really matters - if it takes more than 50 pages to get me hooked I rarely if ever am going to love the book (though I might like it). Whether I continue usually depends on if it's an author I want to give a chance to, or part of a series I like, or if it's just some book I randomly chose.
    Suggested by   @macnchz
  14. I agree with everyone, if you're not feeling it then let it go. The tough ones are the borderline cases: you're into the plot, but the writing style bores you, or one story line appeals to you but another drives you crazy... I tend to stick those out, but often it doesn't feel worth it when I'm done
    Suggested by   @CleftEffect