Chris Hannah
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Nancy Pearl's Rule of 50 for dropping a bad book

Nancy Pearl, writing for The Globe and Mail:

It wasn’t until I became an adult, and a librarian, that I began to question my commitment to finishing each and every book that I began. Now that I really was living a major portion of my life in the library, I literally found myself surrounded by books, tempting me, calling to me from the shelves. How could I – in one lifetime – ever get through everything I wanted to read if I had to finish those books that I discovered to be (at least to me) boring, badly written or just plain bad?

It dawned on me that maybe, just maybe, I didn’t have to finish every book I started. Gradually my attitude changed, but not without a struggle. I felt bad for the authors whose books I gave up on. Didn’t they deserve a full chance to entice me into the world they’d created? I could hear their voices in my head, like the voice of my conscience, saying, “Wait, wait, it gets better! You haven’t gotten to the good part yet.” Oh the guilt, the guilt!

This is a very good tip if you want to read more books. I noticed myself that I would become stuck on a boring book, and I wouldn’t allow myself to read anything else. And that really messes things up.

So now, I just put a book down whenever I’m bored of it, and then pick it back up when I am. It certainly makes my “Reading” section in GoodReads look rather packed, but it’s a good problem to have.

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