When to give up on a book

When is it time to admit defeat and put down a book? I’ve been wondering for a while.

Sometimes, it is easy to know. A really stupid YA book, for instance, with insta-love and a love triangle, is easy to put down. I have no expectation for it to improve, so why wait to find out what happens? 

Classics are possibly the hardest to say no to. I feel like I ought to read a classic even if I hate it; there is a part of me that always expects it to get better. Unfortunately there is always Gone With the Wind to prove me wrong.

Lately, I’ve been trying to decide if I want to finish Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers and The Paradise War by Stephen R. Lawhead. The books are technically unrelated, I just happen to have both of them out from the library right now and I don’t feel inclined to finish either. 

Fallen Angels is the harder of the two to say no to. It is a Sonlight book from a core I never did. There is a lot of language, but it is a pretty highly regarded war book about Vietnam. My brother really enjoyed it when he read it for school. It is kind of classic-ish. However, I’m not enjoying the story. I find it slow and forgettable. I have read other war books and this one doesn’t seem that different. I feel like I ought to read it but I don’t really want to. Do I say no? Or leave it on my to-read list for another day?

With The Paradise Wars, I mostly feel obliged to read it because it has been on my to-read list since 2010. That is 6 years! However, the plot is set in Oxford and it still bores me. I find the main character boring and the whole thing tedious. It is a thick book and while I could push through, I don’t really want to. There are a lot of positive reviews on Goodreads…do I just wait for another day to read it? But I want it off my to-read list. This is kind of a silly dilemma. 

When to say no? When I cease to enjoy a book? If I do that, I feel like I might miss out on some really good books. I’m not sure that these are those books, though. I am not far enough in either to stick them on the nebulous “not going to finish” shelf either. Hmmm.

 

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