At last, I now have permission to stop slogging my way through boring books.
This, from a trusted authority — Seattle writer and librarian Nancy Pearl — makes me feel much better:
Rule of Fifty
People frequently ask me how many pages they should give a book before they give up on it. In response to that question, I came up with my “rule of fifty,” which is based on the shortness of time and the immensity of the world of books.
If you’re 50 years of age or younger, give a book 50 pages before you decide to commit to reading it or give it up. If you’re over 50, which is when time gets even shorter, subtract your age from 100—the result is the number of pages you should read before making your decision to stay with it or quit. Since that number gets smaller and smaller as we get older and older, our big reward is that when we turn 100, we can judge a book by its cover!