Do you feel obligated to finish all books you start reading?

Having finished my last read and waiting for it’s sequel to arrive in the post, I was thinking about this.

I do actually really love the feeling of finishing a book, and if I do that knowing that the whole book was rubbish the satisfaction is still there of finishing it.


It’s not very often I will give up on reading a book to the end. Sometimes I will drop a book for a while and come back to it later, but it’s very rare I actually give up on a book.

I do find sometimes there a books that are simply hard to get into at the beginning but giving up on them so soon, means you miss a really good book if you don’t give it a chance. In a way reading a book is like meeting a new person, you need a little time to get to know them before you make a decision about whether or not you really like them or not. Whether they’re going to become part of your social circle, someone you want to spend time with.

There are of course some horrible books out there, I haven’t read too many of them thankfully but they are out there. And I like to think that I give even a bad book a good chance to impress me. I’ll read enough to where I feel the I should feel I know the character; that I have a bond with them, the story should be moving along, I should want to know what happens next and none of that is happening. I’ll give it up.

There is actually a funny story here. When I did my GCSE’s (end of high school exams/qualifications) the book part of my English Literature required me to read An Inspector Calls and To Kill A Mockingbird (which is the much thicker of the two). At 15/16 I just could not get into To Kill A Mocking Bird at all, the storyline was a point of interest to me, but the writing – I couldn’t get into it. I only read the first 17 pages of it. Yet I still got a grade C (and I took the high level papers). Here a C is what is required to get into college on high grade courses, grade C or above. I think I did well considering I’ve not read the vast majority of the book!
However, I don’t recommend doing this. But I guess I could share my tips if you want them? lol!

Do I feel obligated to finish books? No, but I do like to finish them if they aren’t utterly terrible.

Do you feel obligated to finish all books you start reading?

5 thoughts on “Do you feel obligated to finish all books you start reading?

  1. No, if a book is crap, it’s crap. Case in point for me: Joseph Heller – Catch 22 and Ian McEwan – Saturday. I read both books till about half way through and I just didn’t find them interesting at all. As an English major I had to read tons of books for classes in uni. I read as much as I could, but I didn’t always make it. I at least started reading everything. The only book I really gave up on very quickly was Samuel Richardson – Clarissa, but that seems to be deemed dreadful by everyone who’s tried to read it. lolz

    And you’ve inspired me for a new blog post!

  2. I nearly always finish books. Two of the 8 books I read on my recent holiday were pretty bad / didn’t engage me at all. But I did finish them.

    I often can see ‘merit’ in books, even if I don’t enjoy them, which motivates me to get to the (bitter!) end!

    The main difference is how long it takes. I am usually a ‘one book at a time’ kinda girl – when the book I am reading engages me and I enjoy it then I make time to fit it in. When it doesn’t I am more likely to while away the hours elsewhere.

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