How do you know when it’s over?

Relationships are tough.  They ebb.  They flow.  Sometimes you just have to cut your losses.  But when do you know that now is the time. Time to move on.

Relax dear followers – I am not talking about the Boy.  We’re still young and in love.  I’m speaking of a much more complex relationship.  A relationship with a book.

As you are all aware I am a book nerd.  I love books. I hate libraries.  I love bookstores.  Did I mention I love books.  If I could figure out a way to knit and read and drink a Starbucks Chai Tea Latte all at once I will have encountered true nirvana.  But for now I must struggle between choosing one over the other. Bah!

I choose my books mostly based on recommendation, or by authors I already know and love.  Or maybe I’ve seen something in the news, or a book finds its way into my favourite section of the bookstore.  Or Heather Reisman tells me it’s good, and since we’re BFF – I guess that counts as recommendation.  But for the last month I’ve been reading a book that just can’t capture me, but at the same time I’m having a hard time giving up on it.  So I ask you, do I cut my losses and move on?  Or do I power through and finish what I started?

The real dilemma is I think it might be my attitude.  You see, I’m kind of a book snob.  I don’t do books that are super crazy popular (Harry Potter might be the exception here but I stand by the fact that I read it before the movies came out).  The Da Vinci Code – no dice.  Everyone and their brother read that book – not me. Self-admitted snob. Eat Pray Love – forced to read it for book club, couldn’t get through it and hated it.   I also don’t generally do series  (Again HP and Hunger Games are exceptions).  The Babysitters Club ruined me for all future series – they were just the same book over and over again! Twilight Saga? Nada. Nope. No way. Not doing it.

But when my boss gave me The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – I buckled.  I didn’t want to publicly admit I’m a book snob, and we’ve developed somewhat of a book exchange, so I took it.  It sat on my bedside table for a couple months, as I devoured other enjoyable, less cultish books.  But then she asked me about it – and so I started reading.  In the back of my mind I kept Kate in mind – my book loving BFF, who recommended this book to me long before it was a cult classic.  I’d give it a shot.

It’s now been 1 month.  I’m 300 pages into this 800 page monster, I feel like the stage is STILL being set at a painfully slow rate – and I want to scream GET ON WITH IT everytime I pick it up.  But I continue to pick it up.  Night after night.  While other books cry out to be read, I’ve been plugging away at this one.

Why? Is it my desire not to have to admit that I’m a book snob? Is the book really good and I’m just missing it because I’ve gone in with a baditude? Am I missing out on books I’ll really enjoy with all the time I’m putting into this one (I mean we all only have a finite amount of reading time in our lifespan right?)

I’ve gone round and round with these questions in my head.  I’m at a loss. So I’m turning to you:

How do you know when to cut your losses and give up on a book, and when to power through.


If you’ve read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – let me know what you thought, when does something HAPPEN in this book?

PS. I love WordPress’ new feature – I’m off to check out other articles on people who hate this book.

Check it out:

12 responses

  1. I’m a little bit of a book snob too, and don’t mean to be. Sometimes my mom will recommend a book from her book club and I’ll read it to please her but when I finish I’ll breathe a sigh of relief and happily go back to Dostoevsky.
    As for cutting your losses, I almost never give up on a book once I start. I say power through! You can do it!
    Idea: can you get this book on tape and listen to it while you knit and sip a Chai Latte?

  2. Since I recommended this book, obviously I think you should stick with it! If it helps: Book #1 wraps up and you can skip 2 and 3 if it’s still not grabbing you. A LOT of stuff does happen though, then you won’t be able to put it down.
    And when you’re done, read One Day by David Nicholls. But read it before the movie with Anne Hathaway and sexy Jim Sturgess comes out, so it doesn’t seem like you’re jumping on the bandwagon.

    • I’ve stuck it out this far for you, I’ll have you know. You won me over with your last book review – I heart Biff. I’ll add One Day to my next Chapters date. Seriously though 300 pages and nothing? That does not seem like a good book to me.

  3. I don’t think I’m a book snob, but I will stop reading a book if it just doesn’t grab me. It took me a while to allow myself that though, especially if it was “supposed” to be a great book.

    One I couldn’t hack was Pillars of the Earth. I usually like Oprah’s book club picks, but I read 100 pages or so of that and just couldn’t stand the violence.

    Anyway, stopping by from our SITS Flippers group!

    • I think it’s a little because I have to give the book back… unread. I don’t know if I can do it. Seems so silly but there it is. I have stopped reading books before – but usually I am able to move them into a different pile and get back to them eventually. This one I have to give back – it’s a now or never kind of thing.

  4. I agree with Janet, if I dont get into a book a few chapters in I just move on. I bought this book because it was so highly recommended by like everyone but I thought it sucked, sorry ladies who thought it was good.

    I ended up giving it to another blogger who thought she’d give a try so hopefully she’ll find that book more interesting than I did & it’ll be worth the $14 I paid for it lol. Good luck!

  5. Stopping in from Team Flipper! I remember reading a manifesto of reader’s rights, including the right to stop reading any book at any time! It’s hard for me to do that–I get a sense of obligation and duty, but sometimes I realize I wouldn’t force myself to finish a dvd I didn’t like, so why a book? My short time in a book club was generally painful. I’m a voracious reader, so I don’t need the trends to guide me in what to read–I’m naturally drawn to many books. You’ll have to forgive that I am a librarian though. . .

    • Welcome fellow Flipper! I’ll have to find said manifesto. I should clarify that I love university libraries, and reading in libraries. It’s borrowing fiction books that I can’t get my head around. I realize it might be crazy – but I don’t like other people touching and reading my books before me, especially people I don’t know. (Yes I realize that books do not arrive in bookstores in a vacuum.)

  6. I’ve read the book, and I really liked it! It does take quite some time to pick up pace, though. Maybe about 500 pages or so?

    I also find it very difficult to leave a book mid-way….but…I have done it once, with Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things. Now that book just did NOT move!!

    Flipper Tribe

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