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How long do you give a book?

Discussion in 'Book club' started by lanokia, Dec 9, 2017.

  1. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    I'm 14 pages into ''Foucault's Pendulum'' by Umberto Eco and...

    It's just reading like a series of museum features... and I'm bored... how long do I give it? I bought it because I wanted to read something a bit more brainy and literate but... has anyone else read it? Does it get better?

    And how long do you give a book before giving up?
  2. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    I tend to plod on to the end but do skip through very dull parts but I want to know how the books end. There was a Louis de Berniere recently that I flicked through a lot of. (or - a lot of which I flicked through.)
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  3. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    I found my eyes flicking over sections of this book... and it was only page 10!...

    I didn't even know the narrators name... I know that isn't essential but it seems all so pointless so far...
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  4. asnac

    asnac Established commenter

    I think I'd give it beyond p14. Especially a book with a good reputation (not that I've ever read it). Have you got any further?

    I have no sense of literary duty, in that I feel no need to finish books that have become dull or predictable. In our whole lives we are likely to read only a few thousand books; there are plenty of good ones out there so we should not waste time on second-raters.
  5. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Good question ! There is one book I gave up on once ( Anne Tyler ‘A Spool of Blue Thread ‘ ) and returned to it to discover I loved it. I am of the opinion thing that too many books and too little patience so ....if in doubt move on ...
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  6. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    I got past the big chunk I didn't like and I'm now 190 pages in... it got better...

    It's not a ''good'' book though... lots of expository info dumps, little actual point being made... but readable enough...
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  7. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Ha ha!
    I think I got about 20-30 pages in to that before giving up.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  8. captain scarlet

    captain scarlet Established commenter

    I read a book once
    towncryer and lanokia like this.
  9. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    I know exactly what you mean....

    I have no idea why what I'm reading matters at all... it's just a string of info dumps... and I'm bored.
  10. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    When I did my degree I couldn't deal with serious fiction at all - it all just seemed worthy and boring and too much like work. I think I read about 200 Mills and Boon I borrowed off my MiL and my granny instead. It took me ages to come back to proper books. I wonder if you're having literature fatigue - all those 19th C extracts can't be much fun!
  11. galerider123

    galerider123 Lead commenter

    Sometimes it's worth persevering for a bit. But if it still leaves me yawning after a couple of chapters it is clearly just not to my taste, and no one is testing me on it so who cares, really. I might skip to the end to see how it finishes just to see if that makes it worth slogging through a bit more to get to the good stuff if I feel curious enough, but generally feel that there are so many books out there it is OK to abandon them- it is meant to be my entertainment, after all.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  12. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Foucault's Pendulum is a great read.

    It's big and difficult to navigate but this reflects the experience of the protagonist. Think of its language & description as an optimisation of your brain to enable the story to run to best effect. Lovecraft was excellent at this. If you are unfamiliar with its themes then I recommend you take short notes as you read so you that can investigate various names, factions & currents at the end of each session. It's a highly structured story which rewards knowledge with mystery.
  13. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Well I've given up on it for now... 300 pages in and I had no idea what the point of any of it was...

    Might go back to it... doubt it...
  14. Vince_Ulam

    Vince_Ulam Star commenter

    Honestly, you historians. If it's not set out on a straight line it's not worth knowing.

    lanokia likes this.
  15. friedgreentomatoes

    friedgreentomatoes Star commenter

    When I was younger I used to make myself finish a book once I'd started, but now I feel life is too short. I usually give it fifty pages - if it hasn't grabbed me by then I give up.
  16. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    I loved the Life of Pi and a few months back I started to read another by the same author - 'The high mountains of portugal'?

    It took some getting into but I ploughed on. At the end of the first third I was beginning to get a bit more interested then suddenly it switched to another time and place and the tedium started again. i stopped a few pages into that 2nd part.

    I don't like giving up on books but there are too many good books around to waste time on the othrs.
    towncryer, lanokia and galerider123 like this.
  17. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Well I read 140 pages of Wizard and Glass Dark Tower book 4 by Stephen King and then
    .. .
    It switched to a different story. And I couldn't get into it. At all.

    Might just give reading this series. Book 3 was good but that's it.

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    "Green it was."
    (Porridge - that quote always stuck with me,)
    lrw22 likes this.

    SEBREGIS Lead commenter

    It depends a bit on the book.

    If various people I respect say it's worth sticking with, I'll give it longer. Sometimes I may read a book because I want to know whats in there. So I took a copy of Homer with me on a boat trip around the Greek islands. A week at sea wit nothing else to read was basically what did it.

    If it's just a book I've picked up, I'll dump it as soon as something else more interesting comes along.

    The worst thing is when I have to review a book, because you can't do that honestly until you've the whole thing. I had to read this one recently and it nearly killed me, Utter drivel. Not that you would know it from the Amazon reviews.

  20. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    In that case the cover does its job, it would have successfully put me off reading the book.
    1 person likes this.

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