[UPDATE: Wordsmithed the rule to read better and corrected a spelling mistake. I seriously need to get a proofreader.]

A recent post by Michael May (“I Give Up: A Game of Thrones“) talks about not finishing books. He mentions a rule he got from Bookgasm…The 100-Page Rule: “If it’s not good by page 100, quit reading.”

A couple of months ago, I asked Do You Know When to Stop Reading? After that post, I thought I did. But I might have benefited from knowing The 100-Page Rule one month later when I was midway through Blindsight before I finally gave it up. I just wasn’t getting into it and I’m not entirely sure why. It has been getting very positive reviews everywhere I see it mentioned.

Halfway through a book is probably the longest I’ve lasted through an unfinished book. I’m not sure 100 pages is enough to determine likability. It really depends on the book’s size. I seem to remember Hamilton’s Night’s Dawn trilogy taking a while to get started as he took the time to spin up all the different story threads. Maybe a Percentage Rule would be better. Hmm…The 33% Rule sounds about right. For a 300-page book you get your 100-page acid test.

Officially stated, then:

The 33% Rule: If the first one-third of a book is not good, stop reading it.

Filed under: Books

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