A few weeks back my Dad (a voracious reader) passed along a Washington Times article that discusses economics professor Tyler Cowen’s argument that there’s an economic case to be made for quitting a book as soon as you stop getting anything out of it. Cowen finishes one book for every five to ten he starts. “We should treat books a little more like we treat TV channels,” says Cowen.
That’s probably an extreme case, but I’m sure we’ve all had moments when we wanted to fling the old Kindle against the old wall, whether because of a character who was driving us batty, an implausible plot line, or maybe even because your copy of THE SHINING just happened to be missing pages right when it was getting to the good part (yup, still mad, Colusa County Library. Seventeen years has not dulled the pain).
So do you stop reading books or are you a compulsive finisher? And for those that stop midway, what causes you to stop? How do you decide to ditch a book and start something new?