My personality is the type that if I start something, I have to finish it and I will be stressed about it until I do. I was this way when watching TV shows (mostly Korean dramas and anime that were only one season and didn’t go on far too long like US shows). I would start a show, get bored, but finished it because I felt like I had to. At that point, it felt like a chore to have to finish all of these shows that I just was not enjoying. There was no actual reason for me to finish them other than I just felt obligated to, but eventually, I did learn to stop watching them if I didn’t like them and I was so much happier. However, when I got back into reading, I regressed and once again felt obligated to finish something I had started.
I think a lot of people struggle with admitting that they force themselves to finish books they might not want to. I am one of them, so I can totally understand. Maybe it’s a book that was recommended to you, or you’ve already put so much time into reading and there is only a little bit left, or maybe you feel bad because you purchased the book and feel like that money was wasted. That last one is what I struggle with the most, but I try to tell myself that I tried and it’s not worth the pain of trying to finish it.
If I could just drop that book and move on, I would be happy reading another book. I often think the saying “if it doesn’t make you happy, don’t do it” is too simplistic to really apply to life in general, but in this case, when reading is a hobby, if it doesn’t make you happy, don’t do it! It is okay to not finish that book that is dragging you down. Please don’t feel obligated to finish books you aren’t enjoying because you owe it to yourself to spend your time on things you like.
Here are some books that I have dropped and why:
The Cerulean by Amy Ewing (220 out of 496 pages)
This book just was marketed as something different than it was, so I went in with different expectations. I tried physically reading it and listening to the audiobook, but I just couldn’t do it. The story was just not interesting and it was filled with homophobia and rascism. There was no reason for me to finish it.
The Inconceivable Life of Quinn by Marianna Baer (133 out of 373 pages)
I picked this book up at Goodwill because the cover caught my eye and the description sounded interesting. It is about a teenage girl who finds out that she is pregnant…but she’s a virgin. Quinn is one of the most unlikable characters I have read in a long time. She is so convinced that someone raped her, but she has no memory of it or any symptoms of PTSD, so it felt very weird for her to act like she was a victim when she wasn’t. This book just felt kinda gross to me in the way it addressed things and I didn’t care enough to finish it.
The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco (179 out of 432 pages)
This was a book recommended to me by my best friend, so I really wanted to like it! Sadly, I spent like a week trying to get into it, but the descriptions were just so tedious and there was no real plot, even at 40% into the book.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (160 out of 552 pages)
I know this is a very controversial book for me to not have enjoyed! I wanted to love it, I really did, but it just did not grab me. There was one line in particular that really rubbed me the wrong way, something about “looking someone in their Jewish eyes”. After that, I just didn’t feel like picking the book back up, no matter how good everyone said it was.
These are just a few of the books I have let go! Most are because I am not loving it, so I put it down, then just never pick it back up, but others are a little more intentional. What books have you dropped?