Booking Through Thursday: Half

So … you’re halfway through a book and you’re hating it. It’s boring. It’s trite. It’s badly written. But … you’ve invested all this time to reading the first half.

What do you do? Read the second half? Just to finish out the story? Find out what happens?

Or, cut your losses and dump the second half?

I am an unashamed completionist. (Interestingly, I am not a completionist when it comes to video games, where the term comes from, but that’s neither here nor there.) I can’t even jump into open-ended mystery or thriller series at any point in the series; I have to start at the beginning. And if I get halfway through a book and hate it, I’m still going to finish it. I need to know what happens and how the author fails to deliver a proper story.

If the book is truly bad or offensive, then finishing it and writing the review is actually kind of fun–there’s plenty of material to cover. It’s a little more difficult when the book is simply sub par, since there’s nothing to get truly outraged about, but then, this question is about books we hate, not books we simply don’t like!

8 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday: Half

  1. I admire your fortitude. If it’s really dragging me down, I quit. I’m not ashamed to admit it. 🙂

  2. I recommend that you read D. Pennac’s Comme un roman. He has funny anecdotes about reading, but he specifically makes the 10 rights of the reader, such as the right to skip pages and the right to not finish a book. The whole book is wonderful, just seeded with irony throughout 🙂

  3. I’m absolutely with you. I frequently wish I could just stop a book that I’m hating, but I feel compelled to finish it. What if it turns around and I love it? Usually it doesn’t and I’m just disappointed. I also have to read series from the very beginning and I feel the need to complete those, if I like them at all.

    It’s good to know I’m not alone. The few times I have quit reading a book, I never forget and it always bothers me. I’ve gone back and finished most of them just so I can stop thinking about it. Yes, I realize that’s a bit OCD.

  4. If you start a series, do you have to finish it? I had to give up calling myself a completist halfway through Anne Rice’s Tale of the Body Thief; but ordinarily I don’t start a series unless I am planning to finish it. Second books are often far less good. It is sad.

    • Series fall out of my standards, I have to say- if the first book doesn’t work for me, then I don’t have to finish the series. Otherwise, we’d be dealing with more disappointed Cassandra Clare reviews around here.

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