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Abandoning a book

Do you ever abandon a book? Stop reading because it hasn't hooked you? Is there a set amount of pages you allot to read before you give up and move on?

I know abandoning books is controversial among readers, but I'm not one of them. If I'm not enjoying a book, I set it down and pick up another from the always growing pile. Do I ever return to it? Rarely. Do I feel bad? Usually not.

But sometimes...

Sometimes when I see other people raving about the same book I've cast aside, I wonder what I missed and why I didn't feel the same way about the book.

Then I remember and remind myself what I tell my students: not all books fit everyone the same way (yes, I make a clothes analogy). It may be past experiences or present experiences that effect how we feel about a book or just plain personal preferences. Not enjoying a book that others love doesn't make us less of a reader. It could fit us later on in life and not just at this time. Or never.

And that's okay.

Life is short and there are so many books to read! Find one that fits and enjoy it. Read with abandon and don't be afraid to abandon books that don't fit.

Today, I'm giving myself permission to return Code Name Verity to the library. I tried it. 88 pages. I set it aside. Over a week later and I'm still not curious or intrigued enough to continue. I know this is super controversial and that this is THE book so many have raved about this past year. It may very well be the Printz award winner this year. If so, perhaps I'll revisit it...

But maybe not.

And that's okay too.

What book have you abandoned that others love? I'd love to hear about it in the comments.

Happy reading.


  1. This is a conversation more teachers need to have with students. Even in 6th grade I always get a few students who feel like if they start a book they have to finish it.

    Given the out-of-control number of books on my to-read list, I don't usually feel bad about abandoning books. And I usually abandon books quite frequently.

    And don't feel bad, I've heard quite a few people who didn't connect with Code Name Verity. I'm waiting for the audiobook at my library so we'll see how I feel about it soon.

  2. I abandon books, not much, but occasionally. I had to make myself skim Code Name Verity for a book club meeting, but I hated it! Which makes me feel stupid because everyone loved it on Goodreads and raved about it on blogs.

  3. I had to abandon "Cold Mountain." I have a teacher that was raving about it to our Pre-AP English classes and I was biting my tongue the entire time. I even tried the audio, and gave up. My limit, I give it 25%. If I can't get into the book during that amount of time, I give it a one star on Goodreads and then move on.

  4. I've abandoned Harry Potter 3 times. I may revisit. I actually abandoned Poisonwood Bible 5 times before I read it. Now it is on my list of favorite reads. I believe strongly that timing has to be right for a reader and a book:-)

  5. Agree, agree, agree. I haven't even put this book on my TBR list, as it's gotten such mixed reviews, but I'd tell students that, too, if I ever booktalked it. I will not read a book if I'm not into it. Not enough time!

  6. Love these comments and the discussion on Twitter so much. Thanks for reading!


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