tuesday talks

Tuesday Talks #5 – How many pages before giving up on a book?

In Feature by Nya30 Comments

Welcome to a new Tuesday Talks. This week’s topic: Do you read a specific amount of pages before giving up on a book you are not enjoying?

‘Tuesday Talks’ has been started by Janie @Goodreads. And you too can join here.

To read or not to read

Personally, I wouldn’t say I aim for a specific amount of pages before I decide to finally give up on a book. And I will say, I rarely give up on a book.
In my opinion, there are two crucial points where disinterest in a book might occur:

  • The very beginning. And this would be the worst case scenario. If a book didn’t have the ability to hook me right from the start, then it will never leave the shelf, I am sorry. And I am sorry mainly because I know there are many books with great potential that fail at this basic principle. I am not counting this as “giving up” because I do read a few sentences (at least) before purchasing and deciding to start reading a book. Not only I will find out whether the book managed to have my instant attention, I will also judge the writing style and whether it suits me or not. In fact, in my book review submission form, this is a prerequisite. I request a sample of the first chapter from anyone who’d want me to consider their book to review, because this will highly increase my chances of picking a book I will enjoy. No guarantees of course, but anything that increases the chance of a pleasant reading experience + positive review is a win-win.
  • Somewhere in the middle. When the initial plot simply loses its purpose, or gets lost into pointless minor or repetitive conflicts. This is impossible to predict, so I would say this is when most readers decide to give up on a book. Let’s say I might have picked a book which had all the potential in the world to suit me and my personal taste, and it ultimately goes in the opposite direction.

I think it’s important to mention these points, because even though there are never guarantees that you will love or hate a book, no matter how many reviews you have seen, or even how many other works of the same author you have read, there are tricks and methods we can use to our advantage when picking a new book. The art of choosing something that I will enjoy is a skill that I am working on – gradually.
Other reasons that might make you not enjoy a book can include “deception” – deliberate or not – which is what happens when you believe you are going to read about something, and then…you get something else! This can happen due to a badly done blurb, or even something as simple as an enticing title. And let’s not forget the book covers, the worst temptation of them all (raise your hand if you have ever bought a book solely based on its cover – I am raising mine).

I have read somewhere that we, human beings, have an issue with time which had already been invested. This can apply to any area of life, and also to books, of course. You have started reading a book, you have invested time in it. What to do if you are not enjoying it? Continue doing it, because time had already been, let’s say, wasted? Or simply give up on it, and saving that precious time reading or doing something you’d enjoy more?

I would love to read about everyone’s thoughts on this. How many chances – or pages – do you give to a book you are not enjoying? 


  1. Angelie Agapito Pangilinan

    I used to read a lot when I was in highschool but when I stepped in college and started freelancing work, I just lost the time to read. I usually stop reading after the first two chapters and it hasn't caught my interest yet. I'd just put it down and pick another book.

  2. Jane Rosewood

    I usualy prefer nonfiction, and the only reasons I would stop reading a book is because it's not that interesting or it doesn't teach me anything new.
    From time to time I do read Prose, but it have to be fascinating to keep me going. I'm so busy all the time, I wish I had more time to read 🙂

  3. Bettina Bacani

    There have been instances where I would reach 100+ pages then give up. If it's taking me too long to read, then I know deep down, I probably don't like it. I enjoy reading YA and NA stuff mostly 🙂 But usually, I do read reviews on books, so that helps lessen the chances of me giving up, since I already sorta read up on it 🙂

  4. Zwitsy

    I don’t really spend most of my time on reading books but when I do, I always see to it that it is worth it. How I make sure that I won’t be wasting my time, I always read the synopsis of the story. And if it sounds interesting, I then invest time for it.
    Zwitsy recently posted…Negros Occidental Provincial CapitolMy Profile

  5. Sonnie

    I don’t count pages before giving up- it’s either I’m hooked (loved the book ) or I must (bec this is something I need to finish for work or study). If it doesn’t fall on any of these two, I will not touch a book.
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  6. heidi

    I have to say I don’t give up til at least the fourth chapter. I’ve read many books that just don’t get interesting til then. But of course ,if you aren’t hooked right away you aren’t going to get that I have to finish this today obsession. For me reading is relaxation and yes I still prefer books to online reading.

  7. Nimi

    I had never given up a book. If I start one, no matter how boring it turns , somehow I manage to reach the end.

    I still remember, I read a love story and the author at the end showed two options either the girl will marry him or will leave him. And he said, the ending is my gift to you. Choose whichever you want.

    Honestly, I felt so angry, I wished to kill him in Game of Thrones style. After that I realized, that sometimes its better to leave a book.

  8. Sa Bine

    Good points about giving up on books or not. I have so many troubles reading books, while I love to read blog posts. At school when we were younger we were pushed to read books and do a presentation about it and I hated it so much that I still hate to read books. So usually I give up after seeing the outside hahaha :)))

  9. Ginoel Orejo

    If I'm not already invested in at least one character (doesn't have to be the main) halfway through, I'm done. No matter how beautifully-written a book is, it's the characters that make it or break it for me. It's just like with real people, you will not get along with everyone. And that's totally fine. I'm not picky when it comes to books, but I need characters who make me feel something.

  10. Denice Joyce Diaz

    I usually give the book a chapter or two, however if I do notice that there are a lot of grammatical errors on the first few pages I immediately drop the book. When the book though survives 2 chapters with me I make it a point that I read it cover to cover.

  11. Stella Gold

    I hate giving up on books too! But I almost never give up on a book that I have actually purchased. The only one I could maybe claim to have given up on is a book called The Luminaries which is very long and I stopped reading about halfway through because I wanted to try something else. But I still believe I will finish some day!

  12. Sriparna

    Well, for me, the beginning of any book, takes a little time to seep in… in a little slow to start with 🙂
    It’s always the before-mid phase of the book, that can keep me hooked up to it… I have rarely given up on any book.. may have fast read some pages, just to get it over with though 😉

  13. Carola

    I also think the beginning of a book is very important. Most of the time, it will tell me if I will like the book or not. I decide after 1 chapter mostly. If I give up later, it’s not so much a decision mostly. I Begin reading, and it takes more and more time for me to come back to read. Untill it’s been to long and I read something else. But when I really like a book, I want to read all te time! It’s also hard to actually find a nice book. There’s too much choice. Sometimes I don’t know where to begin searching for a nice book.
    Carola recently posted…2 new guests for Arccon!My Profile

  14. Andrew Monzon

    At the book store I read the opeing pages, if it doesn't hook me I won't purchase it. When I was younger, I would even read a terrible book from strt to finish. In recent years I have quit on books after 50 to 100 pages. And some of these books are from successful big name authors. Time is too short to waste it on a bad book. Not when there are so many gems out there.

  15. Berlin Domingo

    I can be real impatient but I am always a hopeful person. I have this thinking that the author would probably do something to redeem himself thus forced me to finish a book even if it sucks. Then after closing the book, I would then tell my friend (who also loves reading) that Ive just wasted my time reading this and that book. Ihihi. So, how many pages before giving up on a book I am not enjoying? Till the last page. Yes, I even read the About the Author and his upcoming books if ever there will be.

  16. Robert Lee

    There are only two reasons why I read books – purely for fun such as thrillers (my favorite genre) or educational (such as self-help). I don't really make a deliberate effort on stopping reading a book but that happens when I read fictions. The book either keeps me coming back until I am finished, or somehow, I just forget to continue reading. Self-help books are a different matter. I read to learn so I tend to finish unless the information is crap.


  17. Tiina Arminen

    Usually i read the whole which I have picked up, but it can happen that after a few chapters i realize that it's not really something I want to read and enjoy. It's not an easy task to give up reading but sometmes you just have to.

  18. Blueberry&Basil

    There is only one answer " to read" but yes if a book makes me loose interest I would just jump on a new book and come back later or completely remove it from my reader.

  19. Postcard Pretty - Rachel Arandilla

    Haha! Interesting topic. I find that I give up reading e-books too quickly but I tend to stick on the paperbacks. I attempted to read 50 shades of grey but gave up after 3 boring chapters! I tried to like it, but the writing–OMG. That is just a personal opinion though. I love your blog! I appreciate that it's all about books–not many people read this days!

    1. Author

      Thank you so much:) And haha, I completely understand you because it took me almost a whole year to finish 50 shades of Grey, and I confess, I skipped chunks of it. I don’t know how I even made it until the end, it’s the definitely the book I most disliked from all the books I’ve read. But I was too curious to let it pass.

  20. Cai Dominguez

    I admit that im not a book reader. But in case ill start reading book. Ill take note of your tips. I agree that the first part is the most crucial since its the part that will get the readers interest 🙂

  21. Jessica Ayun

    No specific time or part actually. Like in writing, I read depending on my mood. 🙂 But I makes sure not to hold it for too long as interest will get less and less.

  22. Louisa Mercado

    I actually find that it really depends on my mood. I can start a reading a few pages of a book and if I feel disinterested I leave it for the time being and move onto something else. I always go back to those books I didn't finish and find that they're a better read when I choose to read them again. Sometimes I wonder why I didn't continue reading them and that's why I know it really depends on my mood and what I feel like reading at the time.

  23. Ana De Jesus

    I rarely give up on books but I have found that since I have started blogging I am reading less and less which is weird for me.

  24. Marzena Dreammerin

    I'm reading a lot of books but only about my interest subjects: e.g. fashion, personaldevelopment etc. When I'm not enjoying a book I need to find something else to read! Time is very precious! When I studied, I read everything, a lot of different stuff, which wasn't practice at all and it was for me waisted time. Maybe that is the reason why today I only read subjects I really enjoy. Great article! Hugs <3

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