One of the hardest lessons to learn is, “Sometimes it is ok to give up.” Moods, goals, and interests change, and often we are better off reassessing and switching our energies to other areas. While this is true in life, it is especially true when it comes to reading books. After working in a library for six years, I finally figured out there is no way I can finish every book that I see. There are far too many fantastic books out there to waste my time and effort on reading something I don’t love.
A famous librarian (Yes, there are famous librarians. She has her own action figure and everything.) named Nancy Pearl summed up this idea and created a general rule to save us from wasting time on bad books. She suggests if you are under 50, give a book 50 pages. If you are not hooked, give up on it for now and try it again later. Different moods affect your interests and a book that seemed mediocre at one point, may be life changing later. Pearl advices those over 50 that time is even more precious and you should subtract your age from 100. The result is the number of pages you should read before you decide to commit to reading the book or moving on.
We all have the right to read and like any book we want just as we have the right to dislike any book and not read it. Remember, just because Oprah loved a book, does not mean you have to too. So once you decide to quit a book, what do you do? Find another! Nancy Pearl literally has thousands upon thousands of suggestions. Check out her books of recommended reading lists which include, “Book Lust,” “More Book Lust,” “Book Crush,” and “BookLust to Go.”