So, today I shall address a very controversial topic in the book nerd world, inspired by “The Psychology of Abandonment”, a Goodreads infographic.
Click on the image to view the full infographic.
Is it okay to abandon a book halfway through?
Is it really okay to leave it hanging? Does it get on your conscience afterwards? Sitting on your bookshelf, staring up at you, making you feel guilty? Can you handle it?
Should you do it? How do you know when it’s the right time to just give up – or is there even a right time at all?
And why? What makes you do it? What are the reasons?
I find that the most common cause of book abandonment is that the book appears to be slow or boring. I know that a lot of times I’ve fallen into a reading slump because a book is slow and boring at first, and as I try to start more and more books, they end up all being the same. This causes me to just give up, thus the reading slump, and I believe it is for this reason that I’m always so reluctant to keep trying with these drawn out, uninteresting novels.
I often find myself just forgetting about it, trying to convince myself to pick it up and finish it but just abandoning it at the bottom of my schoolbag instead of actually abandoning it. It makes me feel better sometimes, the fact that I haven’t given up yet, but then I realise that my book’s at the bottom of my schoolbag and I haven’t read in three days – I’m in a reading slump.
I also think that sometimes it may be just the characters that I’m personally frustrated with. For example, it was a chore for me to try and get through The Elite by Kiera Cass. The first novel was brilliant – sweet, witty, romantic. It gave me butterflies in my stomach and made me actually smile while reading. Just sitting there, looking like an idiot, smiling at a book. But the second novel! America is trying to decide between Maxon and Aspen and she keeps making the wrong choice and she’s an obnoxious brat throughout the entire couple hundred pages. She whines and asks for “time” and when it’s asked of her in return, she’s an impatient child. So, I was intrigued by the story but put off by the protagonist. However, I did push through with this one because I loved the first one so much.
Another example for this would be Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi – same thing. First book was amazing, second book was straight up indecisive. It was like the physical book itself didn’t know what to do, who to pick!
And yet another reason, a rather selfish reason but I’m sure we’re all guilty of it, is when the story doesn’t go the way you want it to. She might choose the other guy, or maybe your favourite character dies. You convince yourself that you won’t be able to get through the book without him/her…/it or you won’t be able to read through all that lovey dove yucky stuff between her and the other guy – the wrong guy.
Well, looks like this is going to be a rather long post, so consider this Part 1.
I hope you enjoyed, and look forward to more of my thoughts on book abandonment. 🙂