Finishing Books…

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.

hedgehogI 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. goldfinch 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.


Nancy’s first job was as a page in the Peninsula Public Library in Lawrence, NY. Her love of reading brought her back to libraries and she has now worked at the Fanwood Memorial Library for over 13 years. Nancy wears many hats here at the library including planning and supervising of adult and teen programming, other YA and teen activities, book selection and buying, working behind the circulation desk and more. Her hobbies include baking, and she once won the NJN Chocolate bake-off contest for her famous “La Grande Park Ice Skating Rink Cookies". If you see her walking to work, or at the library, say hi... and ask her for that recipe).