Thursday, March 10, 2011

Quiting Time

I'm a strong believer in finishing what you started. I try to teach my children the same pride in a job well done. If they join a sport or other program, they must see it through until the end.  But does this concept work for everything.

I use to be of the mindset that once I start a book I must finish it. This was a perfectionist trait and one that would drive me crazy. I've read books in the past that were torture to finish. And I'm not talking about the books I had to read in school. These were books for pleasure reading and I would force myself to finish every last word on every last page.

One example would be the book Eat, Pray, Love.  I know Oprah enjoyed this book and over half the female population loved it. It was painful for me to read this book. (Please don't attack me if you loved this book) I would keep picking it up thinking this has too get better. Everyone likes this book, there has to be a reason. When I finally reached the end I felt betrayed. I just wasted my precious time on reading a book that I didn't like from the first chapter. 

So when is it okay to call it quits?

I know some books start out slow and then grab you. This happened with The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo. The first few chapters did not grab me, but after that I couldn't get enough. I recently started a new book A Soft Place to Land by Susan Rebecca White. The back cover sounded like something right up my alley. It was a story about the love between two sister. I started reading it and after a few chapters I'm just not feeling the love (or like) for this book.  I actually haven't picked it up in over a week. So do I give up?

The perfectionist in me says: No, you must finish what you start! Your not a quiter! I'm a strong believer in finishing what you start, but since this is not affecting anyone but me, I feel that it's negotiable. The imperfect reality is that I'm not going to like everything that I pick up or everything that's the big buzz and it's okay to move on to something better. I plan on putting this book back on my pile of yet to read material and maybe down the line give it another try.

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