Recent Reads and Wondering if My Book Quitting Habit is Linked to Reading Digital Copies

I just finished the book, Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler.  The book gets compared to To Kill a Mockingbird, The Help and The Notebook.

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I really enjoyed this book.  And while it does bring to mind some of the books mentioned above, I wouldn’t put it in the same category.  It’s definitely a good read though, and if you like this genre of fiction I think you’ll like Calling Me Home too.

This week on the blog, one of the most clicked recipes has been Chicken and Dumplings.  Which makes me think of Crisco, since some people use Crisco to make dumplings.  And that makes me think of the wonderful Crisco scene in The Help.  I may need to watch this movie again soon!

I’ve mentioned The Noticer by Andy Andrews before.  I decided to start our school year off by reading The Noticer aloud to the kids.  I think there is a kid version of this book, but since my kids are older* and since I own this version, this is what we read.  They really liked this book.  We had a lot of good discussions prompted by the story.

the noticer collage


I’m planning to read The Noticer Returns later in the year, as well as The Traveler’s Gift, which is also by Andy Andrews.  I highly recommend all of these books.

*{Yes, I read out loud to my kids, even when they’re in high school.  And yes, they read for themselves as well.  One benefit is being able to stop to discuss things as we go.  There are other benefits too, but that’s a whole ‘nother post.}

Insight into my book quitting habit

I’ve shared before that I have a bad habit of quitting books part way through.  I’m a slow reader and if the book starts to drag or get long or I get distracted I will just quit reading it.  This is something I’m finding frustrating about myself.

Recently I gave up on The House at Riverton by Kate Morton.  I’d been reading it in my Scrib’d account, but decided to cancel the account.  I’d already put the book aside by then anyway, but I’m not sure why.  I was enjoying it.  Even now I remember where I left off in the story.

I do have a suspicion though – I read on my Kindle a lot, especially using the app on my phone.  It’s just so handy.  But I also think it makes it easy to quit the book.  In contrast, I read a paperback version of Calling Me Home.  I did get to  a point in that book where I felt like giving up, but I could see that I was half way through.  So I kept reading and finished the book.

The Kindle also lets you know how far you’ve read in a book, but that doesn’t have the same impact for me as seeing the physical pages before and after my bookmark.

Maybe I really need to be reading paper books instead of digital.  But I do love my Kindle too!  It’s easy to hold.  I can carry a whole library with me.  The books download instantly.

So, I’m conflicted.

Has anyone else experienced this problem of quitting books more often if you’re reading digitally?


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  1. Yes! I rarely make it through an e-book, whereas I will rarely quit reading a “real” book, even if I’m not that into it! I have never made the connection before, but I think you’re on to something! PS – Don’t give up on House at Riverton – go get it at the library and finish it! It’s worth it! 🙂

  2. Julia Dawn Mason says:

    I love to read books. When I was a child I would be at the public library every day in summer. I think I read every book in the children’s section of that library before I was 12 years old.The librarian guided me to several adult authors she though would be a good fit with my reading interests. Since then I have read a large number of different types of books. Several favorite authors are James Clavell, James Michner, Tom Clancy, David Baldacci.
    On my Kindle Fire I have many books that I intend to read. . I take my Kindle with me when I travel so I can keep in touch with my American Hemerocallis Society email robin and other emails.

    Any book that holds my interest for for than a page or two will eventually get read by me.

  3. i love the feel and smell of books. I’ve tried reading something on my i pad and just couldn’t finish it, so i went and bought the book. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much better for me! if am reading a book and see how far i am, then i to can’t quit till am done. i love “real” books! 🙂

  4. I’m just as likely to quit paper as I am digital. For me a book is the words, not the format

  5. I so agree when I have a printed book in my hands, ” which I love by the way ” it’s always been fun to see how much is left of the book visually.even big thick books to see how much you have enjoyed and how much is left to enjoy is wonderful. I find I also when reading on my kindle I tend to quit books more readily if it’s just not holding my attention. I may try getting books at the library duplicates of ones online and have the convinence of in my hands and the ease of travel with the kindle. The library benefits with use and owning without the clutter:) win win

  6. I read both physical and electronic books, but I don’t give up on a book because of its physicality or not. As an author, I try not to give up on books because I’d hate to think of someone out there quitting my book part way through. That being said, I’ve given up on plenty of books in my lifetime and I’m sure it will happen again.

  7. I totally agree about the paper version being more engaging than the digital version and it seems I’m hearing that more and more from people. It’s like the novelty of digital books is slowly ebbing and people are circling back to their first love– real, tangible books. That makes me happy!

    And I never, ever cook with Crisco that I don’t hear Octavia Spencer’s voice in my head.

  8. It is rare for me to not finish a book but I’m more likely to quit print. My most recent DNF was “I Am Number Four”. I got over 200 pages read and saw how much was left on the other side of my bookmark and just couldn’t finish it.

    I flip back and forth between books so I’m more likely to lose track of which ebooks I am reading and not finish it that way.

  9. Funny you should bring this up. I am a literacy coach, and a specialist in reading disorders (dyslexics etc). I give my students e-readers as early as possible for just the reasons you’ve described. For them, these work as advantages. They can’t get intimidated by the size of a book or by their slow progress. Check here for the other reasons I’ve found them to be so great for reluctant and disabled readers. It was such a professional treat to hear this (in the inverse) here from you.

    • Deb, I have two reluctant readers that I’m homeschooling now. One of the new things I’ve tried for them has been a Kindle with whisper sync audio books. My youngest is really taking to that and I think it’s helped her reading skills too. My oldest is reluctant to dive into the Kindle and still prefers paper versions. I’m glad to hear more evidence that e-readers work well for kids who don’t like reading.

  10. Hi Tiffany,
    I have never been able to engage with books on my laptop or my phone, so I have never tried a Kindle, etc. My mind and heart just don’t commit if the actual book isn’t in my hands. So, I would say that the trend you’re noticing in your life has some validity from my perspective – actually, it’s probably downright solid evidence that presentation is super important for you, too. 🙂 I hope you enjoy finishing a lot of books in the near future.

    Along this same line, do you experience exasperation with Internet/digital endeavors otherwise? I have been blogging about 11 months, and I just took August off – I put the blog on “autopilot” and focused on some other things I needed to do. All the while, my brain and heart were stepping back from blogging and I was realizing that I actually like the tasks of blogging, except the time at the screen and all the over stimulation weareth me out. 🙂 I’ve decided to put things on a semester-like-rotation and take breaks every few months and see how this goes. I’ve also planned posts out ahead of time – something I’m thrilled about now that I have blogged long enough to wrap my brain around a schedule.

    Your including books at your blog is just great in addition to your cooking. I relate well to someone who reads and cooks and just lives a normal life and writes about it online – the consistency of your real-real-normal presence online is such a blessing. That keeps me coming back to read as much as the recipes! I’m hoping to be real normal and include some book stuff at my blog soon – I think it’s a great combo!

    Okay, I’ve gone on, so I’ll hush now. My husband’s bday is Monday and I just baked your cherry limeade cake for him…will make the icing Monday morning. Yum!

    Emily Grace

    • Emily, I haven’t noticed the same experience with other internet stuff. Although, after a while I find I need to tear myself away and take a break. I like your idea of regularly scheduled breaks. I need to do more of that! Happy birthday to your husband 🙂

  11. There was a recent study that concluded people reading on an electronic device had more difficulty following the plot. I think I do read differently with a real book, but then again maybe that study was done by someone who has a vested interest in real books.

  12. Debbie Caraballo says:

    I haven’t really been able to see a difference….I scarf up books, any way I can get them!

  13. I haven’t found that it really makes a difference. I am not about to give up reading books on my Nook however, The one thing that I have found about the nook is that if it is a lend me book (either from a friend or the library) I am too slow of a reader to get it done before it is gone from the Nook.

  14. I have been using a Kindle and the app on my phone and tablet for a few years now, for me I read more. I never had my book with me when I had time or wanted to read now if I have just a few or an hour I always have a book:). I do perfer my ereader and read more if i use it verse the app or fire. On my kindle fire or or tablet I think its the look of the pages. With my kindle reader it looks like book pages and I can read it anywhere, the tablets are useless in the car or sitting outside in the sun. Plus on the reader I bought a really nice cover that feels great in my hands…not like a book but that same comfortable feeling. There are so many free books out there that I have read things I never would have paid for or choose in the library. The ereaders opened a new world for me I cannot recall the last “book” I bought. I so love the kindle ereader that last year I bought one for my 87 yr old mother, I felt bad no longer passing books on to her…within a few days she was hooked and knew how to use it. Now she can adjust the text size and light as needed. I don’t see me ever going back to paper books.

    • I hear you! I love my kindle too. I have an old version of the kindle, so it looks a lot like a paper page and I can read in the sun. I prefer it to my phone app, but I have the phone with me more.

  15. I am also more likely to not finish a kindle book than a real book, but I have determined that my not finishing a book is based on several reasons that ultimately add up to me being okay with not finishing it. There’s so many other books on my kindle, it’s so easy to buy new ones, there are a ton of FREE! books out there, lots have major formatting/editing issues, the writing is terrible, the story doesn’t hold my interest. I’ve read enough books at this point to know that I have a limited amount of time in which to read, I have more books that I want to read than I can read in my lifetime, so if I’m not interested enough in a book to keep reading it, then I am perfectly fine with not reading it and moving along to something else in my list. That said, I can usually tell if I’m just not in the mood AT THAT TIME for a particular book and I will still want to read it, just later, so I’ll go back to that one after a while.

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