27 comments on “To the Bitter End

  1. You make a good point of not knowing what the ending will be. I usually try to finish books that I start, but I think there might’ve been a few that I just didn’t.

  2. I always carry on reading. It has happened several times that I didn’t particularly like a book. After half or two thirds of the book, the story suddenly made sense. Sometimes an author needs to describe several threads, as soon as she/he ties them, reading gets easier.
    I once was delighted by a short story – until page 22/27. There was an uncalled for twist that ruined a sure 5-star-review. I informed the author about it. If this happens in case of a prequel to a novel, and the novel gets it right, this would be fine.

    • That’s exactly how I feel. Every writer works differently and readers can never be sure how they will bring their story threads together. I think that’s why I always try to give them the benefit of the doubt and stick with it.

  3. I’m the same way. I tend to finish books until the end, regardless if I’m liking them or not. I feel as though I can accurately state why I didn’t enjoy a book if I finish it. On the other hand, it’s always nice to be pleasantly surprised if the book turns out to be really good.

    • Exactly, at least if I’ve finished a book I’m entitled to pass judgement on it. You can never be certain what will happen unless you actually read! 🙂

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  4. As I read your post, I was hoping and praying that you weren’t referring to my book. Then you mentioned a detective, and I gave a sigh of relief. I read a book halfway before I give up. By then, you could tell if it has potential or not. But I have read books to the end, hoping for a good ending.

  5. We’ve already had this conversation, but as I read the comments from others, it got me thinking about early feedback for my current novel. Though the beta-readers enjoyed it, one actually commented she was bored in the beginning! She went on to say she became engrossed about a third of the way through it, but that doesn’t help with the readers who ditch a novel after chapter one. I suppose as writers and readers both, we feel an additional sense of responsibility (correct me if I’m wrong). There’s also the fact that it can drive us crazy not knowing how things turn out, especially if we’ve invested so much time 🙂

    • Absolutely. As writers I think we understand the need for different styles and paces to suit certain stories. What attracts one reader will put off another and we can never please everyone. It doesn’t necessarily mean the writer has done something wrong if someone doesn’t engage with their work right away. 🙂

  6. I do stop reading it, but sometimes (most times) I come back to it at a later time and usually, for some reason, I like it. Maybe I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind when I first set out to read it or maybe I just didn’t understand it but I suppose it’s like editing…sometimes you just need to look at it with a fresh pair of eyes haha.

    • That’s a brilliant point. Your frame of mind can hugely affect how you engage with a story. It would be interesting to revisit certain stories later to see if we feel differently about them.

      Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

  7. I try to read on. I have only put down maybe one or two books and not finished them. Being a writer I know how much heart and soul the author has put into it and some stories start out slow then pick up speed. I want to give it a fair chance.

  8. I try but if I’m really not getting along it with and I’m busy I’ll give up. There are too many good books out there to waste your time on one you don’t like, not every book will be for you. I recently started reading Divided Kingdom by Rupert Thompson and I couldn’t get past the first fifty pages, I’m not a massive fan of dystopian literature but I’ll give anything a chance. It was not badly written at all but it was written in a way that didn’t fit my personal taste (it’s no comment on the writer, we were just incompatible). On the other hand Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruis Zafon wveas beautifully written but the story was slow to start with but in the end I was really glad I persevered. I think whether you stick it out or not completely depends on the book.

    • That’s a good way if looking at it; it’s not a case of the writing itself but whether or not we are compatible with that writer’s particular style.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  9. I do try to finish books I start as well, though sometimes that can be a chore. But I feel like I should trust an author to keep going and see the story through.

    There are sometimes when I will stop reading if it really is becoming a slog or a chore, because if you aren’t enjoying something that much then you shouldn’t do it 😀

    Luckily I haven’t had to do that in a while!

  10. That is a good point. To be honest I rarely do it, because like you and most others, I do want to see what happens in the end, and it becomes almost a tick on my to do list to finish it. Having said that, I do always have so many books sitting waiting to be read, that I can put certain ones off for a long time and forget all about them. I think I know within about two chapters whether I am pulled in to a book or not. There are also some that I know all of the way through are badly written and they make me cringe, but the story is good and I want to know what happens, so the imagery and vocabulary might not be great, but the story carries the book. There’s nothing worse though than a book you love that ends in a way that makes you mad – although this does also inspire to me write my own stories where I can decide on the ending (although a lot of the time you find the ending is not what you thought it would be).

  11. I have had to teach myself that it’s OKAY to put down a book if I’m not enjoying it (well, unless it’s not okay to do so… if, for some reason, I actually HAVE to read it… in which case I’m often compiling all the reasons it was not a good choice of books (if for a class) and all the reasons I dislike it in the hopes that I can avoid such pitfalls (or at least refine my understanding of what I like and don’t like)).
    Though, there are some books that I do keep reading even though I’m not in love with them, usually because there is something that is enough of a draw to keep me going, a single character I’m invested in, an overall plot point that I just have to know something more about.

    • It’s interesting that even one factor can keep us reading. For me it’s usually my own need for closure in the story, be that for better or worse!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂

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