A Book Breakup Letter

Dear Book,

I know we got off to a tentative start. You were packaged beautifully enough, and so many people said we’d get along, so I took a chance. I was happy to invest my time even though we didn’t seem to have a lot in common. I thought that I might have to get to know you a little better to see if we really clicked.

I’m sorry to say that this is the end. I don’t want to waste any more of your time, or mine, because clearly this is going nowhere. It’s not you, it’s me. Work’s been so busy lately, I haven’t been getting much sleep, and I just don’t have the energy. Maybe the timing was all wrong. Maybe we could have had a good time if I was younger, or maybe if I was a little older. I don’t really know. Maybe I’ll run into you again someday, we can pick up where we left off, and by then we’ll have grown into one another’s tastes.

You did show me a few new things, and I’m still grateful for our acquaintance. I hope that you won’t take this the wrong way.

A recovering compulsive book finisher


  1. Hah! Yeah life is too short to spend it on things you’re not enjoying. I started breaking up with books in my early 20s, and I used to feel so guilty about it, but now it kind of brings me joy to walk away from something that isn’t enriching me!

  2. Which book?

    I’m glad you didn’t say “Let’s just be friends”. I don’t know how you can just be friends with a book that you couldn’t even finish. Wouldn’t have sounded true. 😉

    (FWIW, I put down A Feast for Crows about a quarter to a third of the way in. The unrelenting “everybody-dies”-ness of it was just getting to be too much.)

    1. I didn’t get past book 1 of ASOIF, for the same reason. I actually like the TV series better, because the acting is so good. And you’re right, you can’t be friends with something you walked away from hehe.

  3. I was reading a fantasy trilogy once, recommended by a real fan of the genre. It was rough to get through, but the ending part of the first book was terrific (and the writing was really good), and that carried me into the second book.

    Then I suddenly realized the author’s gimmick, which was to, at every point, have the plot go in whatever direction would cause his characters the most grief.

    Now, this is the rule of farce (the next person to come in through the door should be the person your character least wants to see), but it’s different when there aren’t any jokes. 🙂

    Once I figured out the gimmick, I knew that the books would never surprise me, so I gave up. I have never felt conflicted about the decision.

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