You may or may not have noticed, but the reviews I post on the site have shifted a lot in the last few months. The average star rating of books I post about has shifted from a 3 to a 4, and the reviews are overwhelmingly more positive. I have lots of standout books, and 5 stars are no longer a rare occurrence like they were before.
This isn't because I've gotten less critical or careful with my reading and ranking. I still want to give the most honest content and only pair people with books I love. It's happened because I don't read books I'm not enjoying anymore. While I used to feel obligated to finish every book I picked up, I no longer feel tied to that seeming "reader rule."
I used to figure I had to give books at least to thirty or fifty percent or just barrel all the way through. This made me only pick books I was sure I would love. Even with that test, you can't know whether you'll like the voice or the writing.
It took school getting busy and overwhelming, severely eating into my reading time for me to come to my epiphany. I read for fun. I read because I love it. I read to learn. If I don't feel like I'm gaining any of those things, why am I even reading?
Not every book is perfect. Not every book I finish is my new favorite book, but there's always something greater than some vague obligation to keep me reading.
Being a more serious writer and reviewer has also made me reevaluate. I started the blog to share book recommendations with people. I want to help connect you to the book that will make your heart sing, and lists of negative reviews won't do that. Being hypercritical doesn't help anyone. The reviews are harder to make myself promote, and it prohibits any author interaction, so I shy away from posting negative reviews unless their important for some reason. I'll talk about books I don't like, and I'd never say I liked a book I didn't, but those just don't make them onto the blog anymore because I probably didn't finish it. My reading time is so precious now, I can't afford to read books I don't intend to review.
So, even if it seems frowned upon by the reading community, don't be afraid to toss a book by the wayside for whatever reason. Sometimes, I even don't finish books that I am kind of enjoying in favor of something more interesting. Sometimes I revisit books I quit, and sometimes I just know that I'm never going to be a fan of the style. While I always ask myself why I don't like a book so I can grow from the time I already put into it, I never question whether I should allow myself to stop, and you shouldn't either. Reading is a release and a fun activity even if you do review books, so just stick to the ones that make you happy!