I will not finish books I don’t like

Until recently, I finished books I didn’t like. You see, I have this weird affliction where I’m afraid I’m going to “miss something good” if I stop reading a book (or watching a show) before the end. I say things to myself like:

  • You might miss out on a fantastic character.
  • What if the story gets REALLY good in the next chapter?
  • You paid for it. It’s wasteful to delete it without reading it. (This contributes to my pack-rat-ness, too. “Don’t throw that away! You spent good money on that! It might be useful some day!)
  • The author put a lot of work into the book. It would be disrespectful not to finish.

I say “until recently” because something happened a couple of weeks ago to change that. While I was reading a book that was pretty terrible (in my opinion), I heard a voice inside my head that sounded a lot like Christopher Titus.

Titus Voice: Hey, Idiot. Why are you wasting your time on that awful book? Don’t you have a lot of other unread books that might actually be good?

Me: ((blink. blink. shrug.))

Titus Voice: Wouldn’t it be a better use of your time to read something you LIKE?

Me: ((wipes drool from chin and nods madly)) Uh huh!

So, I stopped reading and deleted the book from my Kindle. Amazingly, NO BAD HAPPENED. Thank you, mocking Titus Voice! (Ok, maybe the voice really sounded like me. Whatever. I’m a writer. I embellish!)

I now have a rule. I give a book a couple of chapters (or less if the writing makes me cringe) and if I couldn’t care less what happens to the protagonist, I delete it from my Kindle. I don’t close it and leave it on there to taunt/guilt/seduce me into giving it another try. I just nuke it. I’ve discovered that I’m actually okay with that.

Now, I just have to use that same philosophy on my Hulu queue.

Do you nuke books you can’t get into or do you continue reading? If you continue reading, what makes you feel like you have to finish?