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Forcing yourself to finish movies and novels September 20, 2010

Posted by pacejmiller in Blogging.
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

That's James Franco, by the way

Here’s a random one.  Do you force yourself to finish a film or a novel simply because you started it?

I do.  As far as I can recall, I have never started a novel without sticking with it through to the end (case in point: I was stuck on a single page of The Fellowship of the Ring for a whole month — every time I started reading it before bed I would fall asleep before I hit the end of the page — and yes, it was Tom Bombadil.  I still ended up finishing it and the other two eventually).

Similarly, I have never walked out of a movie or turned off the TV either (I have fallen asleep before but I consider than an involuntary act).  No matter how boring or crap it is.

Is this rational?  Probably not. My logic is that since I have already spent so much time on something, I might as well finish it off.  There’s also a hope (almost always a stupid one) that the book or the film will get better — especially if it has been well-received or recommended.

Others remind me that the time already spent on a crap movie or book is a sunk cost.  You’re not going to recover that time, so why waste more time?  I actually know quite a few people that have walked out of a movie within the first 10-15 minutes and requested a refund (which apparently you can get).  I’ve seen people walk out even halfway through the movie, never to return.  Books go without saying — I know plenty of people who finish about 1 in 10 books, if they’re lucky.

What do you think?  Which camp do you belong to?



1. Natalie J E Potts - September 20, 2010

I was guilty of this and then I realised that I wasn’t getting other books read because of it. So now I have the ‘100 page rule’ which is where I stop at page 100 and if I really don’t have much interest in finding out what happens next I just put the book down. It is very liberating and I highly recommend it. And it probably only leads to a one in six or seven books that I don’t finish.

I still sit through bad movies. I need to work on that.

pacejmiller - September 20, 2010

Great idea! Thanks, I’m going to have to give it a try.

2. ianthecool - September 21, 2010

I’ve definitely given up on books before. I’m not a fast reader. It takes me a long time to finish a book. So why would I waste that time reading a book which bores me when there are so many other books I can move on to?

Movies are another story since they are only a couple of hours. I’ll usually finish it.

3. K. J. Storm - September 21, 2010

I remember having to read Nathanial Hawthorns the Scarlet Letter, while I was in height school. To keep myself sane I also read The Never Ending Story at the same time. If I hadn’t been reading The Scarlet Letter for school, I would have dropped it like a led brick, but that wasn’t an option at the time.

But if I am not able to connect with a book on any level I will put it down, before I make a commitment to it. Case in point, I attempted to read both Eragon and Twilight, the writing stiles in both of these books was painful. It just felt like the authors didn’t care enough, about the stories they where trying to tell.

Some times I will drop a movie, but it has to be extremely bad or contain excessive swearing and or profanity. It also has to be one of those bad movies, that isn’t even fun to make fun of.

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