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Is it ok to quit reading a book?

I totally believe that it is ok to put down a book–as long as the book isn’t for a class or a part of some required reading that must be completed. So many times we go to read a book, and we embrace a moral obligation to finishing that said book regardless of whether we are enjoying the book or not. Enjoyment from literature can come in many different forms: tears from both joy or anger, pensive contemplation or brand new education, stomach flutters from romance or thrilling suspense. If a book can cause a reaction in me that is not positive or even negative, it is worth my time, and I will continue. But if not, I put the book down.

Put the book down!

However, when I’m reading a book, and I begin to feel like I’m wasting my time, I’m out. If I’m reading a book–or actually stop reading because of a book, I need to switch books. The point for me about reading for enjoyment is that I better be doing that–enjoying it! The moment I stop, and I’ll be patient, I’m out. I put the book down, and I don’t feel guilty about it anymore.

I never used to be able to put down a book. As an English major during university, it was essential for me to finish each and every book completely AND thoroughly. Because of this mindset it took me a long time to get to the point where I am now: I put down a book if I start feeling like I should be reading something else. In terms of our reading life, it’s pretty short. Let’s say you can actually read a book a week (I only dream of this capability!). That’s 52 books a year, so in 20 years I would have read over 1000 books. That’s awesome!! But wait, not so great when you think of all the great books out there. Because I read at a slower rate, and I’m lucky if I get 30 books read in a year, I have to, no I must be very particular with what I read.

My vow to only read good books:

As your Dear Librarian I have vowed to only read good books. (Good books obviously vary from person to person.) When I’ve started a book, I’ve done my research (more on this later). I met a librarian once who encouraged readers to make to the page of their age. So, if I can make it to 43, and I’m still in it, I’ll continue. But! If I’m not enjoying the book, in any capacity, I feel it is in my rights as a willing and eager reader to put that book down.

That’s change the scenario: it’s breakfast time. A slice of bread is taken out of it’s bag, and ewww! It’s covered in white and green fur. Probably not! The bread’s gone bad. You wouldn’t eat something that doesn’t taste good; why read something that doesn’t suit you.


This post is about free reading, pleasure reading, those books you would rather stay home for, curled up on a couch with hot chocolate and a candle burning because the book is being read for your enjoyment. If you are required to read something, there is no out. It must be done!