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View Poll Results: Do you finish reading every book you start reading?
Yes. I finish a book no matter what. 38 20.99%
No. I'll leave a book unfinished. 139 76.80%
Go away. 4 2.21%
Voters: 181. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-12-2010, 11:48 AM   #61
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Out of the 100s of books I have read, only a few I couldn't finish, because it was too boring or I just felt this book is not good at all.
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Old 08-12-2010, 11:52 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by banjobama View Post
I'm happy to see that most respondents are as demanding of entertainment from their books as I am.
Not finishing a few books doesn't seem too demanding. On the other hand, trying to get a refund because you didn't like the ending would be very demanding, worthy of:

Youtube it if you do it folks. Some things ought to be preserved for posterity (and they'll LOVE it at your Senate confirmation hearings).
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Old 08-12-2010, 12:51 PM   #63
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it took a long time but I finally learned how to give myself permission to walk away from a book. somehow I grew up with this onus of "once started, must finish". the Seattle NPR station does a weekly (?) show with the main librarian from the Seattle public library where she gives book suggestions. oddly enough (and this was pre e-book for me), it was a comment from her that finally sealed the deal. it was along the lines of; "there is no reason to put yourself through the misery of reading a book that is supposed to be for entertainment and you simply do not enjoy it. put it down, find something else." since then it has been a LOT easier to walk away from some. I still try to give them a bit of a chance, but can now walk away. unless I figure out I've been duped into a romance. then it's dropped like a hot potato!
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Old 08-12-2010, 12:58 PM   #64
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Also, for those who feel obliged to finish a book before they bought it, just remember that wasting your time is not going to make up for having already wasted your money Personally I consider time as a non-renewable resource, and value it (especially free time) much more than my money.
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Old 08-12-2010, 01:23 PM   #65
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Well, I've actually had a lot of books I've either abandoned or put on the shelf over the years. Most of the abandonments were due to either no longer needing the story (ie, it was an experimental piece to help me improve my writing), or it wasn't one I wanted to follow anymore. Heck, I've got some 35 novels now in various states of completion, so when I went through and did a bit of cleanup in my book folder, I ended up abandoning a lot of books I started, and then shelved for various reasons.

There's nothing wrong with abandoning a novel. Abandonments can happen for any number of reasons. Most of the time though the reasons are good, and should happen.
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Old 08-12-2010, 01:27 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlorenceArt View Post
Also, for those who feel obliged to finish a book before they bought it, just remember that wasting your time is not going to make up for having already wasted your money Personally I consider time as a non-renewable resource, and value it (especially free time) much more than my money.
I agree completely ! Well said
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Old 08-12-2010, 01:42 PM   #67
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it took a long time but I finally learned how to give myself permission to walk away from a book. somehow I grew up with this onus of "once started, must finish".
Heh. Do you just have a general aversion to quitting anything, or did your mom tell you about children being bored to death in China?

I have a deeply ingrained resistance to throwing food away thanks to a similarly illogical childhood admonition. I still can't figure out how me stuffing my face makes starvation in China better.
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Old 08-12-2010, 01:48 PM   #68
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Heh. Do you just have a general aversion to quitting anything, or did your mom tell you about children being bored to death in China?

I have a deeply ingrained resistance to throwing food away thanks to a similarly illogical childhood admonition. I still can't figure out how me stuffing my face makes starvation in China better.


I have the same acquired aversion to not finishing my food, and to wasting anything. Though I don't think the Chinese children are thanking me for it.

But I don't see not finishing a book as waste. The waste would be spending time on it if I'm not enjoying it.
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Old 08-12-2010, 04:30 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Marseilles View Post
Heh. Do you just have a general aversion to quitting anything, or did your mom tell you about children being bored to death in China?

I have a deeply ingrained resistance to throwing food away thanks to a similarly illogical childhood admonition. I still can't figure out how me stuffing my face makes starvation in China better.
it certainly didn't come from my Mom. she thinks my reading addiction is an aberration. I think it may because we lived so remotely for a lot of my young life that getting my hands on new books was a big deal. my Grandmother was a librarian, but I don't think I ever recall her scolding me for not finishing anything.
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Old 08-13-2010, 04:21 AM   #70
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I have a deeply ingrained resistance to throwing food away thanks to a similarly illogical childhood admonition
I still cannot do it. I think it is a childhood leftover. We were taught that duting WWII, during Leningrad blockade people were allowed only 125 grams of bread
Spoiler:
Civilians in the city suffered from extreme starvation, especially in winter of 1941–1942. For example, from November 1941 to February 1942 the only food available to the citizen was 125 grams of bread, which by 50–60 per cent consisted of sawdust and other inedible admixtures, and distributed with ration cards. For about 2 weeks at the beginning of January 1942 even this food was available only for workers and military personnel. In conditions of extreme temperatures (down to −30 °С) and city transport being out of service a few kilometers to the food distributing kiosks were insurmountable obstacles for many citizens. In January-February 1942 about 700–10,000 citizens died every day, most of them from hunger. People often died on the streets, and citizens shortly became accustomed to look of death
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Old 08-15-2010, 01:18 AM   #71
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It's very, very rare that I don't finish a book once I start it but there have been a few.
+1

I almost didn't finish The Count of Monte Christo, but I'm glad I stuck with it. There were several really boring passages. Excessive praising of each other, excessive butt-kissing. But it was really worth it in the end. Same for Dracula. I'll never forget either of those two books.

I find that with easy-to-read books, I'm more likely to stick with than hard-to-read books. If it is harder to read, i.e. higher language or older style language, then the book really has to be good to warrant the extra effort.
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:32 PM   #72
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Well, I couldnt finish Frozen Tracks. Gave up on it today. Goes back to the library as soon as Earl leaves. Too many three word sentences. I need adjectives in my books.
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Old 09-22-2010, 09:51 AM   #73
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I try very hard at finishing everything I start, but since I often read multiple books at the same time, the finishing the least interesting ones keeps getting postponed.

The habit of reading multiple books at the same time has gotten significantly worse since I have an ereader. It is much less hassle to read 10 or so books when I have them all at hand.
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Old 09-22-2010, 10:02 AM   #74
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The habit of reading multiple books at the same time has gotten significantly worse since I have an ereader. It is much less hassle to read 10 or so books when I have them all at hand.
Same here... and I also tend to put less effort into finishing a book I don't enjoy, when I have so many available on my reader.
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Old 09-22-2010, 10:48 AM   #75
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Was just talking to an old friend of mine about this. LOVE these message boards, always seem to somehow - sometimes a bit creepily - match conversations I have with friends and family at around the same time.

For me, while I do love my fiction, I can say that the only books I don't push through on are in that genre. I've never put an autobiography down though, and I read quite a few of those. What's funny is I've read some really boring autobiographies, but unlike fiction, I think I'm struck with the notion that at some point, somehow, the bio MUST get interesting.

My friend, however, was notorious for buying upwards of 5-6 books a month (these of course are the prehistoric days when only bulky print works roamed the land), but maybe finishing one, if that. I never wanted to intrude on his habit, but recently I knuckled up and just asked him why it was that he did that with his books.

He really didn't have an answer, just said he would go out to his bookstores and find whatever looked interesting - he was a big horror/thriller guy - and bring them back. It's not that he was ever into creating some impressive looking bookshelf, either.

While he may be the extreme, I do know a whole bunch of folks that'll do the same. Some of them with 30 dollar hardcovers!
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