Book Failure, or, Then I Gave Up

For the past couple days I have been reading Expecting Adam by Martha Beck, but after about 250 pages, I just couldn’t do it anymore.

Expecting Adam is a memoir about Martha’s pregnancy. After growing up in a purely academic, logical, and pratical world (the daughter of a professor who becomes a Harvard PhD student) she learns that the baby she is carrying has Down’s Syndrome right at the cut-off of time – should she terminate the pregnancy, or keep the baby? Her husband originally argues that she should terminate, but changes his mind and says he will support her decision.

Literally, that is all that happened in 250 pages. I’m surprised I didn’t put the book down sooner.

I’m not a big fan of the author’s voice. She rambles a lot and tells a lot of side stories. Each chapter is also formatted the same – she opens with a story about Adam (because she kept him) and then goes back in time to when she was expecting him. I really, really don’t like pattern stories. She also describes these various spiritual experiences she has, where she feels like she is a puppet and someone is watching over her, directing her life and preparing her for Adam. Honestly, it comes off kind of hokey.

I just got bored. I realized I was skimming and then I realized I was 250 pages in! How did I get that far?

I don’t want to say this is a terrible book…just maybe not the best.

At what point do you stop reading? Usually I go for about 50 pages, but sometimes I just keep plugging. Do you have a number of pages that you give up on after you lose interest?



One thought on “Book Failure, or, Then I Gave Up

  1. I generally try my hardest to finish, even if I don’t like it that much. But, if I find myself skimming as early as 50 pages in, I may put the book down. I did quit one book at around page 20, but it was truly awful, and I knew it wasn’t going to get any better.

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