I love books. But sometimes a book just isn't the right fit for me. I know that other people might enjoy a certain book, and I also realize that I might be a better audience for a book on different occasions. So, I have developed "rules" for reading. These rules aren't set in stone, but they help me be more selective about books. You might think that because I read so much, I don't care what I read. But I hate feeling let down when I invest a few hours into a book, and realize that I should have gotten out long before the end.
So. Any book I just pick up on my own with no introduction gets fifty pages. Classics and personal recommendations get 100 pages. If I am not into the book at that point, I am done. I used to read to the end no matter what, but now I just don't. If I am struggling with a book, I will give it the full number of pages for my "rules". I find that there are many books that need close to the full 100 pages before I am into them. Classics generally have a slower startup than contemporary books, but I often find that they are worth the extra investment.
Two exceptions I routinely make: if it is for book club or if the book is extremely short. Part of the reason I go to book clubs is to be exposed to new writing, and I would hope my selections would be given the same benefit of the doubt. Also I want to be able to discuss the book.(Look for an upcoming post about book clubs.) Sometimes a short book that is a train wreck is worth just finishing to discover the rest of the story.
Do other you have guidelines you follow when reading?