A Farewell to Yarns

When is it OK to quit a book?

A Farewell to Yarns

At 370 pages in, I set it aside. It sat there, whispering, “Read me … just a few more pages.” But I was done.

For the first time, I put a book down with no intention of returning to it.

I spent days questioning my decision, wondering whether I should give The Goldfinch one more chance. Readers and critics raved about it (but the Independent did not; read our review here). It was one of the most buzzed-about releases of 2013.

I enjoyed the beginning of Donna Tartt’s book well enough; I loved her style and liked her characters. But something kept me from becoming fully immersed in the story.

I asked on the Independent’s Facebook page how often readers don’t finish books and how they decide when to cut their losses. Most replied that they’ll give a book a certain number of pages before bailing; others are willing to abandon ship anytime the writing isn’t working and/or the story simply isn’t compelling.

When do you realize a book is not worth finishing? For me, it’s when I put it down and don’t touch it again for days. No matter what, I always make time to read, so if I find myself keeping busy with other things because I’m not invested enough in a particular book, I know it’s time to move on.


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