Finishing vs Giving Up

I think I might have run this thread before. It was probably a winner then and it’s bound to be one now.

I know several people who are scandalised when I abandon a book after fifty pages or so. They can’t imagine doing so because…what if it gets good?

Where do you stand?

I have a friend who not only has to finish a novel whether he’s enjoying it or not but he has to finish any books in that series too. He allows himself one concession which is that if he catches the author up he doesn’t have to read the next in the sequence. I feel like he’s at the extreme end of completism.

What did you persevere with despite hating it? And conversely what have you given up on recently?

I just bailed on Paul Auster’s The Book of Illusions at the weekend. 140 odd pages in out of about 320. He’d bored me and disappointed me enough by that point and I was eager to get on with other stuff. Ursula Le Guin now and enjoying it much more.

Love to give up, no discipline crew represent


Of course you should give it up if it’s not for you. Same goes with putting yourself through the trial of reading something just because you think you should*.

Read what you like.

    • fucking Ulysses


I gave up Wind Up Bird Chronicle at 51% according to my Kindle.

I think I got even further with The Sword of Truth but that was an actual hate read I knew would be dreadful.

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I used to complete stuff.

The book I hated most but actually enjoyed the ending was probably White Teeth but these days I wouldn’t have bothered to finish it.

Fully endorse giving up but I haven’t given up on a book since being a student and not being able to finish course reading in time I don’t think

Given up on gravity’s rainbow, because life’s too short. Should’ve given up on 2666, but managed to trudge through that.

Nothing worth doing is ever finished

don’t mind giving up on a book early if it’s bad

also with some books i sort of mentally check out of them but carry on skim reading to the end anyway cos i’m enjoying the prose style or the vibe

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I just bought that on ebay but I’m sending it back for a refund because it was in such poor condition.

What didn’t you like about it?

I’ve walked out of the cinema twice. No way I’m sticking with a book if I’m not enjoying it.

Give up, people. Just give up.

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Hate to give up on anything but

I finished one Auster and gave up on another, feel fine about it because he’s not very good.

Finished both gravity’s rainbow and the unconsoled which were both infuriating at points but worth persevering with and would count as some of the best novels i’ve read.

Gave up on infinite jest when it got unbearable.

About to try moby dick again.

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Really admire @Bamnan’s thing of finishing every game he buys. I can’t stick to that but wish I could

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Life is too short to finish shit books. Will sit through any old film though, at worst it’s an hour I’d probably spend faffing about on here instead.

There is simply too much to read/watch/play/listen to/consume to finish things if you’re not having a good time

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I have about five books on my bookshelf that I fully intend to finish but haven’t read in about two years. Sometimes take a book like that on holiday purely to finish it.

Do stop reading a book if I’m not enjoying it though. This was after spending months reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and realising afterwards that I hadn’t enjoyed it at all.

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If I can’t add it to my games completed spreadsheet then what’s the point?


Generally give up on most media but I find it really hard to give up on a film, however bad. I have plot fomo, I must know what happened. For some reason I’m not bothered in a book, possibly cause so much of a book is created in your own head. Exception is the Twilight film. I had read the books so it didn’t matter but I found that too woeful to finish

Yeah, that book is a fucking chore.

Just found her writing style annoying. Every chapter begins with this incredibly over the top style that reeks of, “this is how a Booker winner writes,” and then gradually gets into just easy summer paperback style.

The thing is it is a decent enough story and her ‘summer paperback’ style is fine so I would get into each chapter until the next one started like a sixth form essay.

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