Monday, August 22, 2011

book threshold

i am trying to come up with a rule for deciding when i should give up on a book that i am reading. before this year, i would usually make myself finish any book i started. that rule was supposed to make me stick to books, exposing me to a more diverse set of reading materials by preventing me from giving up on stuff that i found to be challenging. but in practice what usually happened is i would lose interest in a book and stop reading it, which meant i would stop reading altogether as i didn't want to break the rule and start a new book until i was finished with the book i had lost interest in. rather than encouraging me to read more, in practice under the old rule i read less.

which is why i have decided to ditch the old rule. life is too short and there is too much i want to read without having to force myself to slog through a book that isn't grabbing me. but i still don't want to give up on books too easily. some of my favorite books didn't click right away. sometimes it takes a little while before i get into a book. i want to make sure i give it a chance before i toss it overboard.

clearly this calls for a brand new rule! how far into a book is giving the book a fair chance? 100 pages in? twenty percent of the way through? does anyone else have a threshold for deciding whether a book is worth their time? if so, what is it?