The 20% Cutoff Rule for Books: Fluffy or Boring? Throw it in the Fire

Younger man with slight beard has fallen asleep at a desk with his earbuds in. He's wearing a checkered blue and white plaid shirt and black watch.

You have to be careful with books because they require a decent chunk of mental energy and raw time investment.

This is why I have a 20% Rule.

The rule is simple: If a book gives me no compelling reason to continue on after I’ve read 20% of it, then I trash it.

Too often we have this inner compulsion to finish a book even if it proves unworthy halfway through.

And then we’ll turn the last page, and sure enough, the book is horrible and we’ve wasted our valuable time and mental bandwidth.

I know the problem all too well because I used to continue under misguided notions of not quitting/giving the book a chance, etc.

Now I will gladly quit.

You don’t want to invest in any net negative or net neutral ROIs in your life and thus it’s best to let medicore/bad books go.

In other words, it’s good to quit on bad things.

As for giving a book a chance, if after reading 20% of something, you haven’t seen any glimmer of hope, you’re not going to miss anything.

Author: Kris