We have all struggled to finish reading a book that we are not happy with. In these trying times, we need to ask ourselves something: Why don’t we simply quit?

Time spent with a book is time that could be spent doing other things, so we should pause and evaluate the status of our reading experiences regularly. And if we find ourselves deriving little to no value from a current title, we need to put it down and start something new.

It’s hard for us (me) to do this. No doubt adopting this philosophy might result in the suspending of multiple literary campaigns. But let’s try to picture our paperback journeys in the same way we would an entrepreneurial venture.

We read to fulfil a need, create value and generate opportunity. The motivations for founders are similar. Yet, we celebrate an entrepreneur who “fails fast,” recognizing the astuteness in conceding that a business idea is no longer viable as quickly as possible.

Let’s do this with our books. If you are 75 pages in to your next read and you are not enjoying it—in other words, you haven’t seen a return on investment—stop. Close up shop.

No, saying you started four books and have failed to properly “exit” any of them doesn’t confer the same status as claiming to be a serial entrepreneur. The situation is no different, however. You need to recognize the sunk cost, despite how difficult that may be, and move on.

Yes, it can be hard to see opportunities on the horizon if you find yourself in an unpleasant chapter in your life. But regardless of the number of setbacks an entrepreneur faces, he or she is always clamoring to build their next enterprise.

Us bibliophiles can relate: There are always a million other books that we are dying to read.


Photo: Aris Sfakianakis

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