Feeling guilty about not finishing a book?

Have you ever felt guilty for starting to read a book...and not finishing it? Have you started a book, then finding it not particularly compelling or enticing,  maybe it just wasn't your thing - putting it down (just temporarily of course), and have yet to pick it back up again? Do you feel that you have to finish every book you start, regardless of how much you dread the thought of having to keep reading it?  If so, it's time to question this commitment. Life is far to short to finish reading books you are not enjoying, and certainly not long enough to read all those books that you will. So don't waste time on a less than riveting read.
This doesn't mean you shouldn't give the book a fair go. Some books can be slow to engage your interest, but given enough pages, will get you hooked. So how much of a book should you read before you return this book to the library and borrow something else to read?
A well known American librarian, Nancy Pearl, has given this particular dilemma considerable thought, and  created the Rule of 50, suggesting 50 pages is enough, even less if you are over fifty years of age! (If you are feeling curious about how the book ends, you can always just read the last few pages of the story and find out).  How do you feel about that?

Of course, there are always books which you have to read and finish whether you feel like it or not, those required reads for school, university etc.In this case, try these tips to help you get through these sometimes difficult books.

  • Read one chapter at a time. This way you have time to absorb what you have read and reflect upon it  between chapters.
  • Set a time and place to read the chapter. find somewhere quiet where you are comfortable,  can concentrate, and won't get interrupted.
  • Set a goal date (you may have one anyway) to finish the book.
  • Make notes. This makes you engage with the book and concentrate on what is happening. Discuss the story with others,who may also be reading this book. 
  • Whatever you do, don't give up! You will feel, at the very least, relief that you have finished the book.
Who knows, you may even end up feeling that these "required reads" are amongst some of the best books you have ever read.

 Photo credit: Flickr user Brenda Starr "Book 8"