I hear a lot of things at the circulation desk, but one comment comes up the most: How long should I give a book before I quit?
What…did you think we finish every book? My rule of thumb though is that you should give a book at least 100 pages. By then, if it hasn’t grabbed you it never will.
One book that this theory applies to is LONESOME DOVE by Larry McMurtry I would have put the book down in the first dozen pages. A friend said to skip to page 75 and start there. I was so in love with the book by page 100 i went back to the beginning and could start again and fall in love. It is still one of my favorite books.
I always tell people that the story doesn’t start until page 122 for THE ELEGANCE OF THE HEDGEHOG by Muriel Barbery and I know that many readers don’t make it that far.
A book that is being talked about right now is Donna Tartt’s THE GOLD FINCH. Although it is the 2014 Pulitzer winner for fiction, it doesn’t have a great fan base. I wonder how many readers stop before 100, or just there after?
It’s no fun to slog through a book but sometimes you just have to give it a go, like at least 100 pages, to find out what a great read you have in your hands.