Last year I read over 100 books. No small feat for a mum of two small children. I wrote a blog post about how I manage to fit so much...

Why I Don't Finish Every Book!

Thursday, February 21, 2019 BookBairn 6 Comments

Last year I read over 100 books. No small feat for a mum of two small children. I wrote a blog post about how I manage to fit so much reading into my day with lots of tips for fitting in more reading. But one of the main reasons I manage to fit in so much reading, which I didn't mention in that post, is because I don't finish every single book that I start. 

In the past I did read every page of every book I started. It was like some sort of sacrilegious thing to finish every book. But here's the thing: if you aren't enjoying a book it becomes hard work to finish it. You choose not to read because you aren't enjoying it. 

You will choose to read if you are enjoying a book. You will find time for it if it makes you happy. 

There are so many wonderful books out there why stick with something that doesn't bring you joy, or at least enthral you where you have to know what happens next!?

UK publishers release more than 20 titles per hour* so unless you read at an exponential rate, you are never going to be able to read every book written. And why would you want to? Not every book is a good fit for you and that's ok.

Here are some wonderful (and I do mean wonderful!) books that I gave up on reading simply because I wasn't enjoying them enough to find time to read them. 

1984 by George Orwell
Disobedience by Naomi Alderman
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai (don't get me wrong I admire her greatly but this book was so long-winded that I just couldn't keep going, I even tried the audiobook.)
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Grief is a Thing with Feathers by Max Porter
Why We Need Sleep by Matthew P Walker

And it doesn't mean I won't go back and try reading them again. But I probably won't. Because I have a pile of unread books on my bookshelf that I am excited about. So I'm bound to try reading any of those first. And if I've included a book that you love in the list above, I'm so glad that you enjoyed it, but it just wasn't for me. The same way that we don't all have the same palette when it comes to taste, we don't all have the same reading palette. 

I love reading because I love the books I choose to read. And by giving myself permission to not finish a book I have freed myself from slowly tredging through books that just aren't holding my interest. And then I have more time for ones I do really love. And also I read them much quicker because I love them.

Life is too short to read every book. So I recommend you give yourself permission to put down those books that you don't love, so that you can pick up one that you do love!

Happy reading,

*According to this Guardian article.

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  1. I am infamous in my house (shared with two librarians) for not finishing books. If I’m not enjoying it I don’t finish it. I can usually tell fairly early on in a book if it’s for me or not. It’s the same with a film on tv. If I’m not enjoying it, it gets turned off.

  2. This is a good thought process to have with books, I think if you struggle on it takes away the enjoyment of the written word doesn't it.

  3. I used to be the same, if I started a book, I had to finish then one day I just asked myself why. I didn't have an answer so I stopped doing it!

  4. I finish most books but there are some that I have given up on

  5. Wow, I'm impressed! I have never not finished a book, even if I'm finding it hard going. It is important to me to finish them. There were two books I've struggled with recently - Macbeth by Jo Nesbo (who is an author I love) and The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes - but I stuck with them. I definitely read a lot faster when I'm really enjoying a book. Having recently read The Power by Naomi Alderman, I think I can understand why you gave up on one of her books!

  6. I agree that life is too short to read a book you aren't enjoying but I do hate to give up on them all the same! I stuck with 1984 but it was hard going and I have quite a few books that I'm part way through and pick up every now and again.
    I think the only book I've given up on was Lord of the Rings, I was just confused all the way through!