What happens when you start reading a book and find out you're not really enjoying it? Should you stop? That might work if you have only read a few pages, but what if you've read a few chapters and are more than half way through? This is a dilemma that I am facing at the moment.
You can always tell when I love a book, because even if it's long, I finish it quickly. I find every spare moment to read. I will go to bed early, cup of coffee and book in hand. Not at the moment. It's been ten days since I started my current book, and I've read only 294 pages of a 487-page book. That might be fast reading to some readers, but that's very slow for me. I read on average 40 to 50 books a year.
As I've been mulling this over in my head, determined not to give up on something that I have invested time in, I keep coming back to what Stephen King advises in his book On Writing. Like all great writers, he believes that if you want to be a writer, you must read a lot, and widely. That we need to get lost in the stories we read. That by reading we learn what works and what doesn't. I agree with what he says. I've had moments where I've envied a brilliant idea or scratched my head at how awful another seemed. It's not that the book I'm reading is badly written - it isn't - it's just not captured my imagination.
In On Writing, Stephen King tells readers how on average he reads 80 - 100 books a year, which makes my figure of 40, and especially the average UK figure of eight, seem small. So do I give up and move on, or do I finish it and learn something through the process?