When I was younger I always finished books. Required reading doesn’t count in that statement because who really *wants* to read all of The Portrait of Dorian Gray when you can get the gist of it from class discussion? And ok I am a little bit curious to actually read it now.
Anyway, when I was younger and I chose to read a book I always finished it. It helped that I didn’t ever really choose books I didn’t like. I was a voracious reader but now I realize not an especially broad reader. And by that I mean I probably only read 50 some odd books through all 8 years of high school and college. But I read several of them 3, 6 even 12 times (or maybe more). There weren’t a lot of new books in my world and when I did read a new book I had a pretty good idea I was going to like it.
Then I stopped reading for a while. And then I started again. I joined goodreads and started a book club and went back to my voracious reading habits but this time with a stream of new books (and the occasional repeat of old favorites and new delights because I do still love rereading a good book). Naturally with the introduction of new books my percentage of liking pretty much every book I read plummeted. And then it happened… I started a book and didn’t like it at all and wondered why I was wasting my time reading it… so I stopped. Put it down unfinished. I was a little bit shocked I could do such a thing.
At first it was only books I really disliked that I stopped reading. Then it was books that were just ok but really long. Because I had over 100 books I was interested in reading, if I wasn’t enjoying a book there is no reason to spend days reading it. A couple of hours sure, but not anything that required an actual dedication of time.
Admittedly, I still felt a little guilty about walking away from books that were decent enough, which is probably why I feel the need to explain myself; even if it is in the most boring post you’ve ever read. But then something mildly interesting happened.
I read a book this weekend that I knew was going to be mediocre. I knew I wouldn’t love it; knew it wasn’t really worth my time. But it was only 275 pages which I knew I could read in 2-3 hours and I was mildly curious because it was the sequel to a mediocre book.
So, really I have two thresholds.
One is how much I really dislike a book, I mean how bad is it really?
The other is how long is it?
I feel like I need some sort of hot/crazy scale.
Only, my DNF scale has hate/length axes.