Deciding When To Quit On A Book


With my post yesterday, Capital Volume II – A Difficult Part, I got to thinking about some of the books I’ve quit reading, whether it was because of the difficulty, or if I just wasn’t really all that into the book.  For starters, I don’t plan on giving up on my “Marx Reading Challenge” nor my reading of Karl Marx’s Capital Volume II.

Ordinarily, I don’t give up on reading books.  Generally speaking, I like to finish the books I start, but there are going to be exceptions to the rule.  Looking back at last year, I’ve come to the realization that I gave up reading just two books last year.  Those two books were Charles Dickens’s David Copperfield and Homer’s The Odyssey.  With David Copperfield, I simply started to get bored with the book right around the 300 page mark for some reason.  It started to go by quickly for me, while I was on vacation last year, but for whatever reason, I simply began to lose interest.  I’m not sure what it is with me and Charles Dickens.  Just a love-hate relationship I suppose, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned before.

With Homer’s Odyssey, I simply ran out of steam after reading The Iliad.  Not quite sure why.  Maybe part of it is I can only handle so much ancient literature at any given point in time.  I got through about a chapter and a half and pretty much had to stop.  I also labored some through The Iliad so at that particular time, I probably just ran out of motivation to complete another book by Homer.

With both David Copperfield and The Odyssey, it is my hope that I will be able to pick both of them up again and read them.  I definitely hope so in the case with David Copperfield, especially since I have Bleak House sitting on my bookcase waiting for me to tackle it.

I don’t take the decision to quit reading a book lightly.  When the thought starts to enter my mind, I ask myself why I don’t want to finish that particular book.  Even when I’ve begun to justify my reason behind quitting reading a book, I’ll generally stick with reading the book another day or two to see if it picks up.  If it doesn’t pick up, or if I’m still not feeling the book for whatever reason, I’ll end up putting the book down.  However, generally speaking, I’ll usually end up finishing the book.

With that being said, I think I’ve only quit reading maybe a dozen books in my reading career.  Going forward, I have no doubt there will be many more books that I’ll end up giving up on for a variety of reasons, but for tonight, I can hope that those books are few and far between.  Do you take lightly the decision to quit reading any books?

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About Jeremy

Husband, book lover, Civil War Buff. If I could read for a living I would, but unfortunately, it doesn't pay the bills!

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