Tuesday, 3 January 2012

#167: Nancy's Rules

It is important that you enjoy what you read, and if you are an older person, especially, you don’t have time to waste on boring books.

I am, nevertheless, surprised at the number of people who doggedly read from cover to cover because they feel obliged to finish what they begin.  That is fine advice when renovating a kitchen but a bit pointless when applied to an activity that is supposed to be fun.  

So... at what stage do you give up on a book? 

A formula devised by Nancy Pearl, fiction specialist and former chief librarian at the Seattle Public Library,  takes the guesswork out of book rejection. Subtract your age from 100, and that is the number of pages you should read before you call it quits.

Today I told Mrs. B, one of my retirement home readers, about this method.  She wondered if she could make an informed decision after reading 5 pages.  Mrs. B has read so much over her lifetime that I think she could just glance at the covers and Nancy would not disapprove.  

1 comment:

  1. A lot of people have the '100 page' rule.

    I feel obligated to finish a book -- or at least skim through it - if I've paid for it. If it is a library book, I might return it if it doesn't hold my interest.

    On Kindle, I try to finish the books I've paid higher prices for. The free or cheaper finds I might not stick with.