On average, I don’t finish books I don’t like. My motto is “life is too short to read books you don’t like.”
Or watch movies you don’t like.
Or eat food you don’t like.
You get the picture.
There are of course, exceptions to this mantra and I don’t follow it in everything I do. For example I often read books I wouldn’t exactly say I “like” but I nevertheless appreciate. Or I’ll finish a book because I’m not reading it for enjoyment, but to gain a new skill or piece of knowledge.
I think this motto is most helpful when you’re reading something that’s supposed to be entertaining (or at least that’s why you’re reading it), but it just isn’t. A lot of time people will finish something because they started it. I always feel this pressure to finish things I start. Despite all evidence to the contrary (I’m incredibly good at starting something and leaving it unfinished) it really does bother me to leave things unfinished.
That’s why I need to have this motto. I’d be spending hours reading a book that neither mentally challenged me, nor helped me grow or gain a new skill, nor entertained me. The only reason I’d keep reading it was because I started it and had this absurd guilt over not finishing it. I had to ask myself why I would force myself to finish something I didn’t enjoy or see any value in?
There was also a small part of me that always wonders if the ending will make up for the lackluster middle, it’s bad now, but perhaps it will get better? That sort of thing.
At the end of the day though I think if you can’t get into a book, no sense in trying to force yourself to finish it if you don’t have a specific reason for doing so.