To carry on, or not to carry on, at page 100?

What with work, life, a dog, general binge drinking and the infuriating need to sleep from time-to-time, for me reading has to be both a pleasure and an escape.  That sounds obvious, I know; why do something voluntarily that isn’t going to give you satisfaction or release you from the monotony of routine?  However, I take reading seriously.  Books, for me, are more than just entertainment.  I appreciate the time and effort gone in to the creative process of writing, to marketing and selling them, to sitting down and getting stuck into them.  Books are a passion.

This is why, when confronted with a book that – despite the efforts gone into writing, selling and reading – is utterly appalling, I feel betrayed.  Loving the industry as I do, I consider “bad books” an insult to it.

And so this blog was born.  I read a lot (I would read more) and I do not want my time wasted, my passion hurt, or my faith in the industry diminished.  And so, I give each book I start 100 pages of my time.  If, at page 100, the book (in my truly – truly – humble opinion) merits reading on, I shall.  If I deem it unworthy, I put it down.

For a regular/standard length novel, 100 pages is a justly fair stage at which to question continuing or not.  Roughly a third of the way in the plot should be underway; the main characters identified; and the writing style established.  Deciding whether to continue at page 100 has, most definitely, given the book (and the writer) a chance to entertain, enthral, and/or entice the reader enough to want to carry on until the end.

My marking system is my own.  Rated out of 5, each book receives a score.  This can be a solid 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5, but often will include .25, .5, .75s too.  This is down to my own subjective judgement.  Imagine I have four books, all 4 out of 5 quality, but not quite 5 out of 5.  However, I like two more than I like the other two; and of the first two, I like one slightly more than the other; and of the latter two, I definitely prefer one a spot more.  Therefore, I need the decimal scoring to ensure I am able to sleep at night.