My name is Jenna and I’m a picky reader.
I describe myself as a book worm, but I’m not one of those bookworms who loves all books unconditionally just because they exist. I’m also not one of those people who has to finish every book she starts.
As a writing student, I’ve become very aware of when a piece of writing misses the mark, and it’s grating. I’m also a fairly slow reader, so committing to a book is a big deal, and I refuse to have my time wasted.
To relieve my FOMO, when trying to decide if a book is worth continuing or even starting in the first place, I’ve developed a few rules that I rarely break.
In this series, I’ll be sharing my rules with you, my fellow reader.
Decide When to Stop Reading in 2 Steps
Part 1: As a general rule, I never stop reading a book before 100-pages in. I’ve mentioned this in my first two book reviews on this blog, and I will mention it again and again in the future.
With a few exceptions, I’ve noticed that most good books give an approximate 100-pages of exposition before getting into the “action” of the 2nd act.
Here are a few examples:
Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone: In the 1998 American Paperback version, Harry begins his trip on the Hogwarts Express and meets Ron Weasley on Page 98.
The Shining: In the 2012 Mass Market edition, Jack Torrance moves into the hotel on page 100.
Artemis Fowl: In the 2003 American Mass Market Edition, Artemis Fowl kidnaps Holly Short and begins his plan to demand a ransom from the fairies on page 100.
Life of Pi: In the 2001 First U.S. Paperback Edition, part 2 literally begins on page 96, with the line “The ship sank” on page 97.
You can do this with any book in your own library, as well. You’ll find exceptions, of course, but most books will fit the rule.
Part 2: If the book isn’t good by page 100, you’re okay to set it down and move on. It’s not getting any better.
I don’t have any examples of this ready, but I’ll be including them in my blog over time as I find them.
Did you find any books in your collection that follow the 100-Rule?