In the July newsletter, I asked readers if they judge a book chapter by chapter, or wait until the end of the book. Here are the responses:

Vicki: Usually I wait for the conclusion of a book to judge it. If it’s something I don’t feel like finishing (it’s that uninteresting or just plain bad) then I’m judging by chapters. I really need to put together the whole to give it a personal rating.

Chris: As I read a book, chapter by chapter, I’m slowly forming an idea of what I think about it. I try not to rush that and I try to give the book time to win me over. I do that because sometimes I almost give up on a book and then, when I’ve read some more, it turns out to be worth reading after all.

Fred: I often have to push to continue reading as I am not getting anywhere with the beginning. Often found that continuing to read is well worth the effort as an working through I really enjoyed the overall book.

Philip: Graeme – Hi. To answer the question, sometimes I’ll judge a book chapter to chapter and sometimes I’ll wait until the end. It all depends on the book. I don’t mean to be rebellious, but that’s how it works for me. And I think the ending is usually the most important part of a book. It can make or break a good read for me.

Linda: I don’t think I ever judge a book by just a chapter. If I did I might not finish some books, as some chapters are just not as good as others. I will say though I get very upset if I read a terrific book and then the last chapter totally disappoints me. If I hate the way a book ends, I sometimes wish I had never read the book. Now I just read “The Prisoner” by Lapena and loved every minute of it. Then when she ended it with a line that made me wonder how it went, I was disappointed. I like to have loose ends all tied up. Thank you for a great newsletter and recommendations.

Kat: if its really bad in the first chapter i usually dont go any further
the older i get the less time i have to waste on books i dont like
the ending makes a big difference to the whole book, i could have loved it till the end then be so disappointed!

Jessica: I do both. I usually wait until the end of the book to judge it, but two books I didn’t do that. One book was Scales of the Empire by Kylie Chan. Every chapter I read I kept waiting to stop reading because it was really bad. But I did want to know how it ended. I have read on Goodreads that the other two books in that series are better. The other book was 23 Minutes in Hell by Bill Wiese. Every chapter I read I kept saying it’s too unbelieveable. Once I finished it, I looked up and found out he mostly lied about the whole experience. The ending makes a big impact to me because sometimes I think something is good wrong and then the book has awesome ending. Like River Woman River Demon had some twist and turns. One moment I wanted to shake her, but the ending was awesome.

Joyce: How I judge books I read. Unless the writing style or subject really turns me off, I usually stick with whatever I’m reading for at least 100 pages. If by then, there is nothing pulling me forward, the only thing that would make me continue is if the book had been highly recommended to me by someone whose opinion I value. I rate all reads between 8 and 10 – with not many getting a 10 unless they grab me from the beginning and never let me go. I start with 8 because anything below that never makes it to the finish line. I am a sucker for dynamic endings however and will often up my rating at the very end. I read roughly 3 or 4 books a week and maintain an extensive database that many friends love to get recommendations from.

Order of Books » Newsletter » Reader Mailbag: Judge A Book Chapter by Chapter?

One Response to “Reader Mailbag: Judge A Book Chapter by Chapter?”

  1. dave townley: 11 months ago

    I have almost worn out Barry Eisler’s books. His ‘follow the order of books’ started with character John Rain (Japanese/American assassin for hire) and have come to include Livia Lone and a few other loveable personalities. Great reading if you like humour, assassins, drama and knowledge. Like I stated, following the order of books is imperative for full enjoyment.


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