A reminder, you do not have to read anything you do not want to read.
No one is forcing you to read anything, but if you suffer from reader’s guilty, as I do, here are a few signs it is time to put the book down.
1. You have no relationship with the characters
You have to be able to form a connect with the characters. I will stop reading the book if I am not rooting for at least one character…even if it is their downfall.
2. The content makes you uncomfortable
Triggering content, trauma based plot, any situation or topic that doesn’t feel right to you— don’t read it. Fiction or non-ficiont, it doesn’t matter. Put it down and move on.
3.You dislike the plot
This one is similar to #2. If you do not like what you are reading, stop. I am guilty of pushing through a book just to finish it. Do not force yourself to do this, don’t like it, don’t read it.
4. The writing style
Every author has a style. You like some, love some, and some you don’t. I am hesitant to put a book down solely because I dislike the writing style. Two authors come to mind.
Jay Kristoff. Nevernight, one of Kristoff popular titles, was highly recommend to me. I almost stopped reading because of Kristoff’s style. At first it was a distraction to me, but once I got the feel for his voice I was able to love the series.
Cormac McCarthy. His novel No Country for Old Men, is a well written but the lack of punctuation drove me insane. I know this is unique to his writing style. Some might argue his work is not lacking punctuation, but rather his limited use is skillful. Regardless, I don’t like it.
5. You simply do not like the book
If you don’t like it, don’t finish it.
What about my reading goals?
You might ask yourself, should I count a book I don’t finish towards my Goodreads goal (or however you track your reading)? I follow a simple rule: >45% I will count it towards my goal, <45% I do not.
I started forming guidelines for myself after a difficult batch of ARC. I found myself struggling to give feedback or write a review. Now, I apply these simple guidelines to almost everything I read. It has made my reading life more enjoyable.