DEBORAH CROMBIE: Whether or not we are writers, all of us who participate in this blog are first and foremost READERS. And we all have our little quirks about how we read and when we read, but here's a question I've been thinking about lately. When you are close to the end of a book--especially a really good book--at what point do you either have to put the book down or FINISH IT.
This is a little harder to judge if you're reading on a device, but for me, with a paper book, it's usually about 50 pages from the end. There are two factors here. One, if I keep going I know I'll read all way to the end and then I won't be able to get up on time in the morning. And, two, I know if I do manage to read just a little bit more and then have to stop, it will spoil the exquisite pleasure of the resolution.
Is this silly? Or maybe a wee bit obsessive/compulsive???
And of course this isn't counting the nights when I fall asleep reading, and hubby has to take off my glasses and put the book on the night stand. The dozing off thing is very annoying--it means that the next day I have to page back through the book until I find the last thing I remember.
REDS, what about you? Where do you have to stop? And is there anyone who can put a book down five or ten pages from the end?
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Nope, nope, absolutely not. Once I get close, I want the whole experience. Sometimes if it's too late, I'll start reading something else instead, because I know if I stay up I'll be sorry in the morning. Also--I always think it's not fair to the author to rush through just to see what happens--which is what I wind up doing. I ALWAYS see Jonathan asleep with a book on his chest. Is that a compliment to the author--or not?
LUCY BURDETTE: no, I save it for the next day, even though that almost kills me. I want to savor, and I know I don't remember the last thing I read late (for me!) By the way, I finished a good one last night called Celine, which I am sure a couple of you recommended last week. There I was, in bed, with nothing left to read and not quite ready to turn out the light. So I started something new, a book I had given to our daughter for Christmas called The Mothers by Brit Bennett. What an amazing voice! Now I am excited for bedtime tonight!
HALLIE EPHRON: The Mothers is on my bedside table as we speak, but I haven't started it yet. My daughter loaned it to me -- she raved about it, too.
I cannot read in bed (I fall asleep) and I often stop with 20 or fewer pages left. Especially if it's a really good book and I want it to last.
JENN McKINLAY: I read in bed and I read all the way through. Yes, I know I'll regret it, but I do it anyway. If I don't, I'll just stay awake wondering what's going to happen so it's best if I just keep going. I do wake up with books on my chest, and it cracks me up when I have to go back ten or more pages to figure out where I clonked out. Sleep-reading, it's a thing.
INGRID THOFT: I can put a book down with as few as twenty pages left, and I definitely stop reading if I don't think I'll be able to finish it before I doze off. Like Debs, I want to savor (and remember!) the ending, which is more likely to happen the next day. My hubby and I also debate the fact that even if I'm loving a book, if I get sleepy, I can't possibly keep reading. He, however, is able to stay up and finish. He says the books I'm reading aren't interesting enough, but I beg to differ! I think this is more a commentary on me and my brain than on the book I'm reading!
RHYS BOWEN: I find very few books these days that I simply can't put down. I suppose I'm more picky than I used to be. I get letters from fans accusing me of making them stay up all night to finish one of my books. I don't think I've ever done that, but I have stayed up well past my bedtime. I think the last one was Kate Morton's The Lake House. Usually if I have a book I'm really enjoying I look forward to going back to it, like having a secret stash of dark chocolate and taking nibbles when I have a moment. And there have been a few books I didn't want to end.... ever! I'm off to England next week and have a fully loaded Kindle which, fortunately, I'll be able to take on the plane with me. Huge sigh of relief.
DEBS: There is nothing I love more than staying up into the wee hours to finish a really gripping book, and I have to admit I'll indulge myself when I'm in England on my own, with no fixed daily schedule. Otherwise, sigh, I have to put the book down at a reasonable hour or I'll regret it. The dogs aren't inclined to take "I stayed up too late" as an excuse in the morning!
READERS, what's your stopping point?