When (and Why) to Stop Reading a Book

Man resting on a sofa, reading a book.
VGstockstudio / Shutterstock

Not finishing a book is a bad move, but sometimes it is the best decision you can make. Here’s how to know when it’s time to stop.

People read for many reasons: to improve, to learn, because it is professionally necessary, etc. However, the best reason to read is for fun! There is nothing better than getting caught in a good book.

If you are reading for fun, it is obvious that you should enjoy the book you are reading. If you dread every page, find excuses not to read, or are just constantly distracted by your phone, then something is wrong. Let’s see when to stop reading a book.

Reasons why you should stop reading a book

Most of the time, you don’t duty read a book. You don’t have to finish, but it can be difficult for avid readers to understand. Some people make their way, whatever, and it’s not the best idea.

If you don’t read something for work or because of a social obligation – for example, it’s the book your mom wrote or your friends’ favorite novel – then you read it for yourself. And, if you read something on your own, you can stop at any time.

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that you should put aside any book that you find a little boring or difficult. Some of the best books are slow or hard to enter entries. There are many times when you have to go through a rough start, but there are also times when you have to stop.

You hate

The first clue that you should drop a book is when you hate something about it. I’m not talking about mild dislike or finding the rhythm. I speak of total opposition to the existence of a character or to the moral direction that the book takes. If a character boils your blood or the tongue is so shocking that you feel the need to confess, you must withdraw.

One big caveat here, however, is that good books often make you uncomfortable. Wrestling 22 and 1984 are not meant to leave you cheerful. You can still write a book, but be careful to do it just because you are thinking about thoughts or feeling that you do not like. It’s usually when you know you have to keep going.

You can’t read it

There are books I just can’t read …On the road, for a. There is something that knocks me out faster than a Valium. No matter how hard I try, I can’t read more than a few pages. These types of books are difficult to predict. Based on the description on the back of the book, I should love On the road.

If there is a book that goes to sleep or sits on your ignored shelf for months, it may be time to accept that you are not going to read it. Disconnect the plug and decide that it is not for you.

It’s not good now

Woman looking out of a window, taking a break from reading her book.
GaudiLab / Shutterstock

Almost all passionate readers have a book (or books) that they read at the right time. These books define specific periods of our life or inspire us to do things. These are some of the most important books we will ever read – and sometimes they come at the wrong time.

I tried to read Gatsby the magnificent as a teenager, and it wasn’t for me. I did not understand it. I thought it was overvalued. I tried it again last year and loved it, devouring everything on a single red-eyed flight and disrupting my sleep schedule for weeks. Although nothing has changed at Gatsby, everything has changed at home.

Sometimes you feel like even if a book is good, it’s not the one you need right now. Maybe you’ve just been through a breakup and don’t want to read a heartbreaking love story. Maybe you don’t want to read something about orphans right after your son is born. Whatever the reason, if you think a book is not right for you at the moment, put it aside.

I put down Terry Pratchett’s latest novel, The shepherd’s crown, after just a few pages. Pratchett is my favorite author of all time, but the book was not for me at the time. I was not ready to read everything he had written and say goodbye to him. I will read it one day, but not today.

When to pass

There are two types of pleasure: type one and type two. Type One Fun, these are just fun things, like a roller coaster and spending time with your friends. The Type Two Fun is a fun thing in hindsight, like a difficult hike or CrossFit. There are also type one and type two books.

Some books are wonderful to read, and some books are wonderful to read. It is important not to give up on it too soon.

Neal Stephenson is one of my favorite speculative fiction writers. The baroque cycle, his magnum opus, is an epic of eight books, a million words and several thousand pages. There are hundreds of characters and the books span decades. As a big Stephenson fan, I knew I had to read it, but I’m not going to lie and say it was fun. Each volume was enormous. The whole project took months. There were long periods in the books where not much was going on but, in the end, it was worth it because I like to read them.

If a book is really important to you – be it because of its subject or its author – then it’s worth going through, even if it isn’t very fun at first. You will enjoy reading it.

This may be true for the classics. Books like 1984 and Farm animal are so relevant to modern conversation that even if you are not a big fan, it is probably worth finishing them off just to know what people are talking about when they mention “Big Brother”.

I have already mentioned that feeling uncomfortable is not a good reason to put down a book. If it makes you think of things you didn’t have before, this is often one of the best reasons to keep reading.

How many are needed?

The hardest part of leaving a book is knowing when to do it. When do you know that a book is not worth browsing?

Once you’ve gotten into the habit of throwing in the towel, it can be easy to start doing it too early. A chapter is often not enough to get a feel for a book. I try for about 20%. So if a book is 300 pages, I will read at least the first 60. At this point, the plot should be started and I should have a good idea of ​​the characters. I give more latitude to longer books because they are often slower to start.

Whatever your approach, don’t feel guilty if you decide to drop a book and move on. Life is too short to browse books you don’t like.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.