“The ramblings and grumblings of author Ad Hudler”

Dear Author: I'll give you until page 100!
Monday, January 26, 2009

I used to force myself to finish every single book I started reading ... even if I didn't like it. (It's the German in me.) And then, some time around age 30, I realized how stupid this was ... and that I was wasting my time. Already overwhelmed by the number of books to read, and realizing I would die long before I was able to read even a fraction of them, I made a new rule: The Page 100 rule. If the author hasn't hooked me by page 100, then I give up on that book and pick up another.

Now, that doesn't mean I toss it in the Goodwill pile. In fact, I might even pick it up in a year or so and give it another try. It's odd how we won't like a book for the longest time, and then, suddenly, we pick it up again and say, "Wow, what a great book!" Our filters as readers evolve as we change, I believe, so something that bores us at age 24 might really engage us at age 28 or 41. It all depends on what has happened to us emotionally and intellectually ... where we are at that point in our lives.

How about you? How many pages do you give an author to engage you before giving up?


7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read half

January 26, 2009 at 8:19 AM  
Anonymous Wendy Withers said...

You're more generous than me. I read until page 30. Unless it's the Twilight series. Then, I'll read every book kicking myself the whole time and wonder where all of my precious hours went.

January 26, 2009 at 9:20 AM  
Blogger Ad Hudler said...

these thoughts from readers via email and facebook:

"i have a 50 page rule. but every so often, i continue on in mistaken optimism, regretting those lost hours of my life."

AND

"I had to fight to reach the same place of enlightenment. However, my evolution came in stages. I started by putting the book down with the explicit promise to myself that I would pick it up again after a suitable break. I finally reached stage two, and now no longer fool myself with the promise - i.e. I don't bother to mark the place where I stopped."

January 26, 2009 at 11:44 AM  
Blogger geeky Heather said...

Oooo...cut me some slack! I've just gotten to the point where I realize I don't need to read EVERY WORD in the few magazines I get!!

January 26, 2009 at 6:24 PM  
Anonymous Val said...

You made me think I must be German also!?! I won't quit ever, thinking the last chapter might redeem an entire book.......

January 26, 2009 at 11:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have never walked out of a movie. The book experience is only different in that you wouldn't take someone with you splitting popcorn and soda. Simply setting the book down seems docile compared to standing up, yelling at the screen and projection booth while stomping out of the theater. I do have a problem with giving up on a book and often jump ahead to read the last page just to be sure.

January 31, 2009 at 10:52 PM  
Blogger Ad Hudler said...

Now, don't be afraid to walk out of a bad movie....think of all the time you'll save!

February 3, 2009 at 6:38 PM  

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