I’ve always felt obligated to finish all the books I started. I don’t know why. Was it just a matter of principle or just because I didn’t like putting down half-finished books, I used to power through and finish any book I started no matter what.
The books that I have abandoned aren’t many and they had always made me feel like a quitter, as if it was exclusively my problem that I didn’t like them. Until this year that I said fuck it and I started dropping the books that didn’t engage me like flies.
Lately, I’ve come to recognize the things that bug me in a book and learned that putting the book down when it irks me or when it becomes boring is not a bad thing. It’s definitely not a quitter’s thing.
Since the start of 2016, I’ve dropped three books. They are not many considering how many books I read, but they were enough for me to realize that it’s no big deal. The first was because the main character, literally, considered the threat of his girlfriend’s rape worse than her death (ha ha ha yes). The second was because the main character had the intelligence of a cucumber, all characters were cut-board-cut-out, and I found myself frustrated page after page after page wondering why I was doing this to myself. The third was because the book got so long, I ultimately got bored. I can read the same pattern of adventures with the same protagonist only so many times, before I get fed up with them. In this case the book was also one of the popular ones, a second book in a trilogy whose first book I had enjoyed very much, thus making my decision extra difficult (I read the first one, so come on, I can read this one too, right? Nope).
In all those cases, I did give the books another chance. I didn’t drop them easily and I tried to move on a couple of (or ten) times before I decided to finally close it and put it back on my shelves. Fighting with myself over continuing a book is not a pleasant thing, mainly because I tend to feel guilty and try again which usually results in losing my mood for reading altogether as the book is sucking my satisfaction, resulting to me not reading other books either because of guilt. Every time, I end up in a reading slump until I say the fuck with it and then I’m free and I start over.
That relief when you get rid of a book that’s keeping you behind is bliss. And it is a new found bliss for me, which I’m going to protect and stand behind with all I’ve got.
Oh, and I absolutely consider the book read if I’m close to the middle or on it. I didn’t suffer for nothing.