14 Signs It's Time To Walk Away From That Book You Just Can't Seem To Finish

by Melissa Ragsdale
Guille Faingold/Stocksy

Maybe this is heresy for me to say, but putting down a book can actually be a good thing. In my opinion, it's totally OK to not finish books: Press pause, and come back to it another time — or don't come back to it at all! Either way, setting that book down for a while might be just what you need to feel reinvigorate your love of reading.

Listen, not every book has to be read in one go. Setting a book down for a few days, or even a few months or years, might give you the opportunity to clear your head and come back to it when you're ready. Perhaps when you pick it up again, you'll be ready to blast your way through to the end, without a sweat.

So how do you tell if it's time to take a break from the book you're reading? It can be a tough decision to make. Here are some signs that it might be time to go on a hiatus. On their own, some of these things don't necessarily mean that you should take a break. But when you add them up, they might be an indicator that it's time to hit the stop button:


It feels like work to open it up.

Do you inwardly groan at the thought of picking it up?


There's another book you want to read so much more.

Is there another book on your shelf that's calling your name?


When people ask you about it, you only talk about the things you don't like.

Do you have anything good to say about it?


You've been reading it for ages and haven't made very much progress.

How long has it been sitting on your nightstand, anyway?


You keep falling asleep while reading it.

Seriously, can you stay awake long enough to read even a page?


You've stopped carrying it around with you.

Does it stay on your nightstand permanently?


You're only reading it because you want to tell other people you've read it.

Are you reading it because you want to read it?


You're putting pressure on yourself to finish it.

Are you stressing over how much you have left to read?


You're not curious about what's going to happen next.

Do you feel that drive to keep going?


You keep making excuses not to read it.

Are there a million other things you'd rather be doing?


You don't ever want to talk about it.

Do you have anything to say about it all?


You feel like you've read a million other books like it.

Is this book bringing anything new to you?


Whenever you read it, you keep having to start over again because you're not taking anything in.

Are you just going through the motions?


The thought of putting it down feels like a relief.

Did you breath out a big sigh when you realized you didn't have to finish it?