I haven't been finishing a lot of books lately. Oh, I've started numbers of them, I just didn't bother finishing them. Is this a problem? Am I becoming too critical?
I like to think I'm saving my time. If I don't care about a character after 75 pages, if the prose is so purple I'm giggling while reading, will it get any better if I keep going? And by not finishing books, I can dip into hundreds of styles, stories and characters, give a number of books my attention... but perhaps this book-stopping habit is getting a bit obsessive. I feel like an agent, silently telling books: "Give me any reason to stop reading and I'll do it!" I worry I might miss a gem of a ending. Or even a gem of a middle.
It isn't even the bad books I'll stop reading; lately I'm giving up on okay books too. Monday I stopped reading a book with a fascinating plot and imaginative and beautiful world building. But the characters were flat as pancakes and the writing repetitive. I imagined if I continued reading I would get more and more annoyed at the author, whereas by stopping I felt I had an opportunity to enjoy her world, however briefly, and move on to something I could enjoy more. Course, now I'm working my way through another book that has received only rave reviews and I'm not sure I care bear to finish it.
How often do you stop reading? How many pages do you give a bad book? What makes you stop?
Last September, I blogged about what elements make me love a book, if you're interested.