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It’s OK to Stop Reading

(Libraries, Books, Reading, “Best of” Lists) Permanent link

…a book that doesn’t grab your attention, that is.

Some of us feel an obligation to finish a book once we have started it. We’ve become invested in it and should press on to the end.

Reader advisory expert and book reviewer, Nancy Pearl, encourages readers to give themselves permission to stop reading a book. She even has a “rule”: if you are 50 or younger, read at least 50 pages before you commit to reading it. If you are over 50, subtract your age from 100 and that is the number of pages you should read before deciding to read to the end or give up and move on to another title. Her theory is the older you are, the less time you have to read all the books on your list.

I like this “rule”. Some books just don’t grab my attention or it’s not the right time. I might want a lighthearted book, this one is serious. For those titles, I’ll keep them on my list, but come back to them at another time.

I think it is Thomas Jefferson who wrote “so many books, so little time”, but whoever it is, it makes the point of Nancy’s approach – move on to a book that engages you, ignites your imagination, takes you to new places.

We have many good books, come visit soon.


Nancy Pearl visited Kalamazoo Public Library in 2006

Posted by Ann Rohrbaugh at 07/19/2010 08:50:18 AM | 

I slogged through Foucault's Pendulum so many years ago when I should've quit. Now if I am truly ready to give up, I will read the ending and then let it go.
Posted by: LisaW ( Email ) at 7/21/2010 2:29 PM

I like that idea too Ann! Just recently I had to put down a book because it didn't grab my attention; however, I managed to pick up a book that did :) I guess it was the right time!
Posted by: Ashten Wilkey ( Email ) at 7/28/2010 10:08 AM

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