When You Don’t Finish the Book

8 Nov

If you’re a book club person, I’m sure you’ve done this. Or know someone who has. Sometimes, life gets in the way or the book just doesn’t grab you and you don’t finish it. Is it the end of the world? No, not at all. I’ve gone to meetings when I haven’t finished the book and I know many people in my groups have as well. Normally, it’s not a problem.

However, I think it can be an issue sometimes. It depends on what you expect out of the meeting when you haven’t finished the book. You should assume the ending will be spoiled for you. If you plan to finish it eventually, this may be a big deterrent but for many, it’s just part of going to the meeting.

Second, you can’t expect the rest of the group to explain the ending of the book to you. It might come out over the course of discussion and you can clarify bits so you understand and can follow the discussion, but sitting down and asking “How did the love story wrap up?” or “What happened to her father?” is going to annoy your fellow readers more than anything. If you want to know, you can still finish the book. The others are there to discuss what happened, not rehash the plot for you.

Personally, I find it best to sit and listen to meetings where I didn’t finish the book. I’m able to remember things earlier in the plot better sometimes because my memory isn’t clouded by the ending like others. I can still add to the discussion but I don’t take up too much time that others want to spend discussing and it helps me to not ask questions that will spoil the ending even more.

How have you handled it when you don’t finish the book? Any further tips? Anything else to avoid? Let’s see if we can come up with a ‘Best Practice’ for when this happens.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!


8 Responses to “When You Don’t Finish the Book”

  1. Jenna M November 8, 2018 at 11:02 AM #

    I’ve always managed to finish the book before my book club meetings. I don’t think I’d be able to make myself go if I hadn’t, so I always try to read them super early. Sometimes too early and I need to skim over a plot summary before I go to the actual meeting because I’ve read four books since that one. lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sam November 8, 2018 at 3:12 PM #

      I have similar problems! I reread my own review before the meeting to refresh. Happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Robyn November 8, 2018 at 11:58 AM #

    I am not in a book club – but I always have such mental anguish when I do not finish a book. The only reason I don’t finish is the “This book sucks” reason. And then I am so mad at the book for putting me in this position where I don’t finish a book. Then do I mark it as read? Seems like cheating….Ughh. Anyway – if I were in a book club I would just sit and listen as well.


    • Sam November 8, 2018 at 3:13 PM #

      I think there’s a ‘didn’t finish’ work around some people have found. Try Googling it and see if you can find it, I understand the turmoil. Happy reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Mani November 9, 2018 at 6:53 AM #

    I haven’t been at my book club for long, in fact I have only been there for 4 read, I just tell the group if I haven’t finished and join in the discussion up to where every I have read the book. I have only not finished a book once.


    • Sam November 9, 2018 at 12:33 PM #

      I think that’s a great approach and similar to what I’ve done. I know the ending will be ruined but I’ve still been able to contribute. Happy reading!


  4. mariaku November 9, 2018 at 11:26 AM #

    I’ve been close one or twice where I almost didn’t finish it but then I just push through it. Personally I hate to not finish reading a book but I’m with Mani, in the fact that I’ll join the discussion up to where I feel the most comfortable to discuss because sometimes rushing though to finish I’ll forget some moments.


    • Sam November 9, 2018 at 12:34 PM #

      I hate it too but life can happen and I’d hate for that to stop people coming and being able to be part of the discussion. Sounds like you’ve found a good way to keep being involved when the details are fuzzy. Happy reading!


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