Sadly, I didn’t do as much reading as I thought I would do on my trips to Scotland and France. I spent most of my plane ride either sleeping or greedily watching movies of my own choosing. However, I did do a lot of reading — just not a lot of finishing. Unbeknownst to me, I had finally drawn a long overdue line in the sand. If a book doesn’t capture me within the first 100 pages, or by Location 500 on my Kindle, then I have to put it down.
It’s funny, because I tend to be afraid that I’m going to miss out on something great if I don’t keep reading, and in a few cases that has been true. I loved Orson Scott Card’s Pastwatch (this was before I found out he was a raging homophobe), adored Eugenie’s Middlesex, and thoroughly enjoyed King’s and Straub’s, Talisman, even though all of these stories took a while to really get pumping. I actually put King’s Bag of Bones (yes, he definitely has a problem with long, labored beginnings) and Gaiman’s American Gods down only to pick them up again due to the raves of multiple friends.
However, for every bad start book that’s worked out, there’s at least two or three that haven’t. I won’t go into the list, but yes, King is on this one, too. So what changed over the course of my multiple plane rides? Well, I guess I realized that my physical reading time is very limited. It’s fine if audiobooks disappoint me, because I would have been taking my daily walk or driving to wherever I’m driving anyway. But I rarely have a chance to just sit down with a book, so when I do, whatever I’m reading needs to come correct and be worth my precious physical-reading time. So on my flight back to America, I switched out of my hard going novel, and switched over to another one that wasn’t popping, so then I switch to another one. This one I liked and I should be finished with it in time for next week’s book review.
But this all got me to wondering, what are your rules for reading? Do you attempt to power through any book that has been labeled “good” like I used to, or do you also have a rule about putting books down if you’re not enjoying them by a certain page? Let me know in the comments!