So … you’re halfway through a book and you’re hating it. It’s boring. It’s trite. It’s badly written. But … you’ve invested all this time to reading the first half.
What do you do? Read the second half? Just to finish out the story? Find out what happens?
Or, cut your losses and dump the second half?
The question actually makes it too easy. If the book is “boring,” “trite” and “badly written,” the decision to dump it is easy. In fact, I would be surprised if I lasted long enough to be halfway through.
The tougher question is one I’ve faced with a couple books recently. It’s not that they’re horrible. Instead, they just don’t really grab you and you’re looking at the stack of TBR books that are so enticing. The decision to bail is far more difficult because hope springs eternal that maybe things will get better. Yet my experience tells me that is true maybe a quarter of the time, at best.
The way a book is read — which is to say, the qualities a reader brings to a book — can have as much to do with its worth as anything the author puts into it.
Norman Cousins, Saturday Review magazine (1969)