Life is too short to read bad books. That's why if I start a book and don't like it, I just stop. There is an endless supply of books to read, so there is no need to limit my selection to the ones I have already begun. Many people are fast readers (not me), or just can't fathom putting a book down. But why keep reading a book you don't like?
Some will say that it takes time for stories to develop and you should give them more of a chance. But there is a difference between putting a book down that has potential and hasn't gotten going, and putting down a book that has a voice you don't care for. It took Tolstoy about 450 pages to really get going in "Anna Karenina," but I kept at it because of his writing style and the seeds he planted for the rest of the story. Yet I put down "The Sound and the Fury" after 15 pages because I knew I would never like the book. I'm sure you can think of books that you have given up on, even ones you are "supposed" to like.
When reading a newspaper, you don't read every article, just the ones that are of interest. And because books are even longer than newspapers, with hundreds of years worth that are still relevant today, there isn't enough time to read them all. Using an aesthetic filter is necessary.
It doesn't even mean that a book is "bad," sometimes it's just not for you. That's ok. Don't think of it as blasphemy for not finishing a story. Think of it as freeing yourself up to sample lots of different books that you may love.
Life is too short.
Photo by flickr user Brenda Clarke via Creative Commons license.
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