When do you stop reading a book you’re not enjoying? #WOYBS

Welcome to another month of WOYBS!

It’s great to have you join us for another month of our What’s On Your Bookshelf Challenge (WOYBS), #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge.

I’m happy to co-host this link party with my good friends, SueDonna,  & Jo.

Good friends are like stars. You don’t always see them but you know they’re always there.

What have I read lately?

I’ve read some cracker books lately so I’ll only give you the ones which I rated either 4 or 5 stars – which means they were really good reads!

You can see all the books read lately in my screenshot below. Are we friends on Goodreads?

Books read Sept-Oct 2022
Books read Sept-Oct 2022

My 2022 Reading Challenge

You may have noticed that I have surpassed my goal of 100 books for 2022! Yay me -as I always say, I read a lot and I’m a fast reader often with a couple of books in various formats on the go – so don’t feel bad if this sounds like a lot of books! It’s not a competition!

Book of the Month

I don’t normally do a book of the month but I feel compelled to this month as I really enjoyed Clare Pooley’s The People on Platform 5 so much.

I wrote this as a review:

This was a book I NEEDED to read at the moment. I’ve had a few bad starts lately, but this book, recommended by a good friend (thanks Jo) made up for them all. It was fresh, feel-good, kind, hopeful, and a pure delight which I just couldn’t put down. You know sometimes you read a book at just the right time and everything clicks? This was it, great timing thanks Iona and co!
The way Clare wrote about inter generational friendships, the feelings of Iona when she was made redundant (I related to so much because that was me too) and the fact that we all deserve…a Triumphant Second Act. Love, love, love this book!!!!
Thanks heaps @cpooleywriter, I’m now a massive fan!
My Goodreads Review

What I’m reading at the moment

It seems I have all forms of books covered in this list – ebook, paperbacks and audible!!

What do you do about a book you’re not enjoying?

It’s sometimes hard to know when to pull the pin on a book isn’t it? How long do you give it – a certain number of pages? I don’t have a set number of pages but I usually give it a good few chapters and if I’m really not enjoying it I give up. It’s not often that I give up on a book but sometimes I just have to. I think some of it was the space my head was in and the books I was trying to read just didn’t suit that moment in time. Do you get like that sometimes?

Recently I have had a few books that I haven’t been able to finish. I’m not going to mention them but one of them was from NetGalley and feedback was required because it was an advance reader copy (ARC). I wasn’t keen to continue the book and didn’t know what to do in this case. I contacted Donna (co-host of WOYBS) to ask her opinion and she was able to point me in the right direction.

There’s a very useful ‘I will not be giving feedback’ option available with. a selection of reasons why you won’t give feedback – like unexpected content, did not finish, file/download problems – and you can give more detailed reasons why in a comment box. I felt much better once I had done this and the book was deleted from my NetGalley account.

NetGalley members are expected to provide feedback for the books they access, in exchange for getting free digital review copies. When you finish reading a book, make sure to submit your star ratings, reviews, opinions, and industry list nominations. However, we know that there are legitimate reasons why you may not be able to submit feedback for certain books—and the “I will not be giving feedback” option will allow you explain why you aren’t reviewing the book.

This also raises issues about reviews – do you give bad reviews, or do you just give a low rating of 1 or 2 stars to indicate it wasn’t to your liking? I don’t leave reviews on Goodreads on all the books I read but I do rate them with stars, mainly for my records rather than anyone else’s.

I really enjoyed Carol’s post last month (Reading Ladies Book Club) where she talked about her Top 5 Problems of a being a Bookworm and I could relate to them all! She talked about not finishing a book and as she says there is no rule about finishing every book you start, and I also appreciated her section on writing kind but honest reviews. I’ve linked to her post and it’s well worth a read! Carol always has interesting book related posts which I enjoy immensely.

What are your thoughts?

Will you join us?

If you’re into reading, please feel free to join us, even if it’s just to leave a comment with what you’ve been reading lately. We’ve added a linkup (at the end of my post) so you can add your posts directly there and see what others have posted about for the month as well.

Sue, Donna, Jo and I hope that you will join us in this fun series.

You can read more from my stunning co-hosts here:

Sue from Women Living Well After 50

Donna from Retirement Reflections

Jo from And Anyways… (Jo is away travelling at the moment)

We’re all in this together, sharing our love of reading 🙂

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Happy reading!

Deb xx

All my WOYBS posts can be found here

Guidelines for WOYBS:

What: What’s On Your Bookshelf #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge
When: Third Thursday PM (Northern Hemisphere)/ Third Friday AM (Southern Hemisphere). Next linkup: Friday 18 November 2022
Why: Share a love of reading.
Where: Linkup below, Blog, Blog Comments, Instagram or other Social Media.
Who: This linkup is open to everyone.
How: You can share in the comments, with a blog post, or on other social media of your choice. You can use the hashtag #Whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge

You can also find Deb’s World in lots of other places – stay in touch by clicking any of the buttons below.

Copyright © 2023 debs-world.com – All rights reserved

65 Replies to “When do you stop reading a book you’re not enjoying? #WOYBS”

  1. Hi, Debbie –
    I am very, very bad at continuing to read a book that is not working for me. So, I definitely appreciate your wise words on this and the encouragement.
    Your post also sent me down another Rabbit Hole (I bet you are not surprised)! 😀 I follow a writer named Clare Pooley who blogs at Suffolk Lane (https://asuffolklane.wordpress.com/author/clarepooley33/). At first, I thought that the book that you read and loved was written by her. When I double checked, it was a different Clare Pooley!
    I’ve been meaning to send you a DM for over a month now. I will do so right now. Looking forward to catching up soon!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lovely to hear from you Donna and thanks again for your help. I never used to give up on books but sometimes it’s really necessary for our own sanity! I’m off to check out the other Clare Pooley now, how strange! And, no I wasn’t surprised you went down another rabbit hole 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m looking forward to taking the new Jane Harper on a forthcoming work trip. I keep forgetting to add in audio books on my blog post…will remedy that for next time.

    Anyway, to the question of when to stop reading a book you are not enjoying…there have been two recently. I have too many other things I want to read, and life is too short to waste time on reading something you don’t like, especially if your work life involves reading lots of documents!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you enjoy Exiles Barb, mu husband is reading it now before I return it to the library and he likes it too!

      I’m with you I have far too many books I want to read so if I’m not enjoying one I give it up but it can be hard if a review is required!


  3. Hi Deb – I love it when I stumble upon a good series of novels but my dilemma arises when I finish them and look to move onto something else. I often do the “authors like this one…” search and download the first book to see if I like it. I confess to not finishing several when the new author doesn’t measure up to the one I’d just finished. That being said, I think the one I deleted with gusto is still “Hamnet” – I’m not sure why, but that book just did absolutely nothing for me – maybe because it had a lot of praise to live up to?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Leanne
      You sound like me. I’ve just downloaded Erin Kelly’s new book and it’s got fantastic reviews but couldn’t get on with it. I felt exactly the same as you about Hamnet and was the odd one out in bookclub!

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Hi Leanne, yes getting into a new series is always a good feeling. I often look for books by the same author if I’ve enjoyed a series and that usually works. We’re all different and read things in our own way which is just as well, as the world would be pretty boring if we all liked the same things!
      I get your dislike for Hamnet but I enjoyed it so it just shows how different tastes and lifestyles are, sometimes even what’s going on around us at the time can impact on what we like to read at a certain time.


  4. Hi Debbie
    Great post and good recommendations
    I also read Exiles this month which I enjoyed. I will be posting the others I’ve read later.
    I never finish a book I don’t like or just can’t get into. I always download samples so they are around three to four chapters.
    I’ll be downloading the Clare Pooley book 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ali, I look forward to reading your post. It’s another wet wet day here so I have time to discover more books to add to my list! I’ve never gone down the route of samples but my mother swears by it, maybe I should give it a go! Thanks for joining us, always great to have you.


  5. Wish I had a book related post to link up. I am struggling to read right now. Or, make that I am struggling to read my book club’s title for the month of October. I can usually tell within just a few pages whether I am going to like a book or not. Life is too short (or as my mother would say – too long) to spend it reading mediocre books. Especially when there are so many delightful ones to be read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Leslie, I’m sorry to hear you are struggling to read at the moment. What’s your bookclub’s title for the month? It can be hard if it’s a book you feel you have to read and it doens’t appeal. Yes so many good books to read out there it seems wrong to waste time on mediocre ones :). Take care xx


  6. My husband, who reads fiction and in actual book form, says he gives book 50 pages. When I was reading fiction, I would choose to consider the first page, and sometimes the last to see if the language style made sense to me. Recently I gave up reading a book that was a Booker prize winner…because “bored” with some it. Husband finished it but wondered how literary prizes are given. Back to your question, life is too short to be wasted on a book YOU don’t enjoy (not what others say) or a meal that is not to your taste. And you are a prolific reader Deb. Thanks for the link up Team WOYBS

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a good reference point Denyse, 50 pages. I agree some of the award winning books surprise me and I often won’t read them because of that. I agree with B, how did that win an award???
      I am a prolific reader Denyse, I love the pure escapism of it all as i rarely read non-fiction. I will listen to non-fiction books as I’m walking or driving but not read them – how weird!!! Off to read your post now, thanks for joining us.


  7. Very timely as I’ve just started using NetGalley. I was a bit surprised to see they don’t really like negative reviews because reviewers need to write objective and honest posts. I’m going to try to make sure I only request books from favourite writers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I’m very new to it all too Gail but it’s an interesting way to read new books. I find there are a lot I can’t access for some reason but I keep looking. Hope you enjoy it and get to read some good ones.


  8. What a good question – I really don’t like to give up on a book because you never know if it may suddenly get better a few chapters on. But there have been some that I just knew weren’t for me. But that’s the important thing to remember isn’t it? We don’t all like the same books! Just because something isn’t to my taste doesn’t mean that it wasn’t a good book – all you can do is give an honest review about how YOU felt about it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Deb, I’m always interested in knowing what makes people give up on a book. You’re right it could all change after you’ve given up. We are all different and i find at different stages of life different books and stories appeal more (or less). Thanks for your thoughtful response to my post!


  9. Hi Deb, yet again you have an impressive list of books. I used to always think I should finish a book even if I wasn’t enjoying it. Over the years as my time for reading has been squeezed, I stop reading a book after a few chapters. There are so many wonderful books in the world, why waste time on the ones that don’t suit. Thanks for sharing your reviews

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Janine, I read a lot and am quite fast. My husband is of the opinion all I do is read and blog my days away!! But I do manage to fit other things in 🙂 Yes there are too many books to read to waste time. Thanks for your visit.


  10. I found the heron’s cry in our local charity shop and plan to read it when I am on holiday next week. It will be interesting to compare notes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was interesting as I listened to the 2 books in this new series Anne, and I often don’t get as involved when I’m actually reading the words myself. Hope you enjoy it!


  11. I usually only give a book a couple of chapters at most when I’m not enjoying it… I actually had 2 I didn’t finish last month and at first I thought it was me but then I realized that in both books I just didn’t like the characters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sometimes it is my head space Joanne, as to why I can’t get into a book but I agree a few chapters tells you if it’s going to be worth persevering or not. Thanks for joining in with your thoughts.


  12. I have a 100 page rule – they have 100 pages but then if it’s bad, I dump it. I rarely do this even if I’m not enjoying it because I wonder if there’s some saving grace coming up that makes it better….or it’s a book club pick and I feel I can offer more thoughts if I finish it. As for bad reviews, I am always mindful that sometimes it’s just not my thing. So many people love really rubbish books that I hate, so I’m perplexed about how they thought that. I really adore some books and then will sit at bookclub only to discover every single other person hated it….so, I tend to not bother with reviews until after I’ve read it. I will admit I only go to Goodreads if I hated a book, and usually everyone loves it and there will be one or two dissenters….I’m not sure what that says about my reading taste??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes the 100 page rule seems to be quite common Lydia. It’s always a risk because as you say it could turn around on page 101 🙂 Bookclub is one time I usually make an exception but I may just skip ahead and dip in and out so I can contribute something to the conversation. Everyone is different and I also say it depends on what’s going on in my life at the time if I can’t get into a particular book. Your reading taste is unique, as it should be 🙂


  13. Hi Deb I’m way behind in getting to #whatsonyourbookshelf due to work. I did chuckle when I read your post as it seems you’ve be been in my head. Or maybe I was in yours. I have similar feelings about books that I don’t enjoy or don’t finish. Thanks for the reminder about Netgalley.i did inte d to check it out but it slipped mind. I missed Carol’s bookworm post so will be checking it out. Great post Deb

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes I think we sometimes get into each other’s heads Jen 🙂 I wish I could tell you about one of the books I was reading and had to stop!!! Thanks for joining us, I was just reading your post too 🙂


  14. Congrats, Debbie, on surpassing your reading goal! I read and enjoyed The Heron’s Cry. If I’m not enjoying a book after the first chapter or so, I stop reading it and move on to another book. I rarely write reviews due to my time constraints. When I do, it’s to support writer friends. I just started Scarborough by Catherine Hernandez, a new-to-me author. Thank you for your weekend coffee share.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. 100 books in a year is impressive! I don’t read much anymore but I used to be an avid reader and I also read fast. Now I do other things to relax, although sometimes I enjoy reading a good book. If I don’t like a book it’s usually because I don’t seem to get into the story fast enough, but I give it quite a bit of time, maybe 1/4 of the book or something like that.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I had 2 DNF this week. It doesn’t take me long to decide not to finish a book. Sometimes it is just the writing that rubs me the wrong way. I think life is too short to waste time on something I am not enjoying. Luckily after 2 misses this week I found a book I couldn’t put down and even got my husband interested enough to borrow it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for joining in Jackie. I think most of us agree there’s not enough time to waste it on books we’re not enjoying. What are you reading that got you out of that rut?


    1. We are on the same wavelength Sue, I thought that when I read your post! It’s funny how sometimes its the mood we’re in or what’s going on that stops us getting into a book and then sometimes it’s the content! I’m also mindful of the author and the work they’ve put into it all. Thanks for being an awesome co-host for WOYBS.


  17. Interestingly, my local book club book this month was one I probably would not have finished except I knew I’d be talking about it at club. I found the characters unlikeable and the writing confusing. But I pushed through and finished; it did help with the conversation at book club. (And a number of others thought the writing confusing as well!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Pat, yes I agree book club reads are the only ones I try to persevere with but even then I can struggle. It does mean I can talk about what it was that i didn’t like and I’m comfortable being the odd one out! Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Hi Deb,
    I really resist giving up on a book once I’ve started it, especially if it’s a real book, not an e-book. I’m a good enough reader that I should be able to push through, but sometimes I just can’t connect and need to walk away.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Isn’t it funny how sometimes we start a book, give it up then read it again later and love it Janis? We must need to be in a certain mindset to read some books. Thanks for your thoughts.

      Liked by 2 people

  19. The older I get, the less time I’m willing to give a book I’m not enjoying. I have so many books on my TBR list, way more than I have a hope of reading before I die, so I’m not willing to spend time reading something that feels like a slog (did enough of that in grad school). I don’t have a set number of pages either, and how long I give it depends on what I don’t like. If I’m bored, I’ll give it a little longer to see if it gets better. If it’s poorly written, I may bail within 10 pages.

    As for reviews, now that I’m writing as well as reading, I don’t leave low ratings. The writing community is surprisingly small, and I can’t risk making enemies. If I can’t rate at least 3 stars, usually 4, I don’t rate. At some point I’m going to have to purge my Goodreads of low ratings from years past.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Deciding to DNF a book is so hard! I’ve gotten a little better at it this year but I’ll still power through most of the time. The NetGalley ones are tricky…I just had one last week that was not for me at all and I felt bad leaving a not so good review

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I have a 100-page rule. If after 100 pages I don’t like it, I move on. If it’s a short book like 150 pages or less, I’ll be willing to read 1/3 of the book and decide to move on.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I’m a bit late to this party, but thought I’d comment anyway.

    I tend to not persevere with books that are poorly written. If I notice the writing, if it’s clumsy or lazy or word choice is particularly bad, then I don’t continue. Luckily I don’t come across too many books like that, but I don’t feel obligated to continue reading if the author hasn’t done a good job of the basics.

    There will inevitably be books that don’t appeal to me in terms of subject matter – but that’s a different story.

    Liked by 2 people

  23. A friend of mine who’s a former English teacher said she always advised her students to give a book 50 pages before giving up on it. I don’t have a set number of pages, or anyhting, but I am, as others have mentioned, less and less willing to put up with a boring, poorly written, or book that’s just not working for me than I used to be. I also need to be in a certain head space for some books, so sometimes I put them down (or return them to the library) for a while, and then come back to them when it works better for me.

    For me, I know I’m really not liking a book if I want to throw it across the room!! Especially if I want to do so repeatedly! Sometimes I’ll try and persist with some of these to see if they get better, but after the third time I want to throw a book across the room (in disgust or anger or… some other negative emotion) then I give up on it and either return it to the library or get rid of it in some fashion. (Either trade at a used book store, or donate to one of the little free libraries near me, usually.)

    I don’t often do reviews or ratings, though I’m getting more into that. Usually I have to feel really strongly about a book to do either. I have been asked for resource recommendations often enough though for nonfiction especially, that I have started a page on my website with my favourites, as well as some secondary options that I wasn’t entirely enamoured with, but also found some useful information in. I seem to keep expanding what I’m covering in it, so who knows what will eventually all wind up there. Right now it has nonfiction favourites on autism, other disabilities, diversity in general, trauma, and mental health in general. There is also a small section on fiction with diverse characters in it (published since 1993 with a few older exceptions.)

    Liked by 1 person

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