Book Abandonment

The other day I was sitting at home reading a book I really didn’t like.  It was actually rather boring, and 80 pages into the novel nothing substantial had happened.  I didn’t feel emotionally invested in the characters, I didn’t really understand the purpose of the plot, and I didn’t really know why I was reading it of my own free will.  So, I started reading faster. I began to devote hours of my time on what was a gorgeous summer day, just so I could finish this terribly boring book sooner rather than later. That’s when it hit me.  I could just abandon this book. Life is too short to read things that, as Marie Kondo would say, don’t “spark joy,” right?

I didn’t abandon the book.  I already was too invested in it (time wise) to kick it to the curb, but I started to wonder, how many other readers abandon books?  Is there a book abandonment criteria? There have been times where I’ve picked up a book, read the first page or two, and then decided that I wanted to read something else.  But this just seemed different.  

Here’s a brief survey of how some of our fellow Livingston Librarians feel about book abandonment:

Katie: Will give a book about thirty minutes.  If she’s not enjoying herself, she will evaluate the book vs. how long it will take to finish.  She used to always force herself to finish books, but now says, “Life is too short to read something I don’t enjoy.”

Joseph: Abandons books all the time.

Janea: Will always try to finish a book unless the writing is so cluttered and her borrowing time is up. If the book is becoming sluggish, she will jump to the end and see if there are any interesting parts coming up.

Gina: Abandons books because she has so much to read and doesn’t want to waste time when she could be reading something else.

Comment below with your book abandonment thoughts!

-Jessica Bielen, Adult Services Librarian 

Livingston, NJ 07039, USA

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