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Books we didn’t finish and why

Stack of books

Usually I can make it to the end of a book whether I’m enjoying it or not but, every now and again there is one that is a real struggle or I just can’t finish. That prompted our most recent BookBubble Chat which teased out some interesting points. For some it is simple – they read for enjoyment or education and, if the book isn’t meeting either of those criteria, they stop and find something else. Some of us feel that once we have invested time and money in a book we need to get to the end. There have been a couple of books we chose together as a BookBubble read and thus felt more of an obligation to finish than we otherwise might have!  Plus, sometimes you just don’t want to admit defeat! Then there is situational context – sometimes the plot, theme or setting  just doesn’t fit with your state of mind, or the state of the world, and it’s not something you want or are able to deal with at that point. 

Non-fiction was different for us. Often chapters are self-contained and there is none of the urgency of a plot to draw you back in and compel you to read on. Often you need to take some time to digest and understand the content of a particular chapter before reading on, and so there was a view that it really didn’t matter if you left it and came back to it some time later, if at all.  For that reason the general view was that non-fiction is much better in print than as an e-book, as its much easier to put down, pick up again and refer back to in that format.

That led me to wonder afterwards, whether the format in which you are reading makes a difference to finishing any book? Are you more inclined to abandon and forget an e-book as there isn’t the same physical reminder as a print version sat on your bedside table. An e-book simply gets replaced by whatever you choose next. What’s your view?