The Twenty-Percent Threshold

“Westerns” (photo by m.a.h. hinton)

I read a lot of books on Kindle. Library books and the ones I purchase as deals-of-the-day. One of the things Kindle provides you with as you read is a running percentage of how much of a book you have read.

I have been noticing that 20% appears to be my average abandoning point. That is, most books I stop reading around a fifth of the way through.

When I was younger, I felt an almost compulsive need to finish any book I started. Somewhere over the years, that part of my personality changed. Completed books have become the exception, not the rule.

I have mentioned here before at ClimbingSky that I routinely abandon books. Even books I am enjoying. I just get to a point and know I am done and ready to move on. It is one of the chief reasons I do not review books here.

This 20%-habit goes for television series as well. I will watch the start of a series with Sue and then one day I am just done and ready to move on to something else. The only difference is that I never feel compelled to watch television. I always feel compelled to read.

I have been thinking of late about this 20% threshold. And what in may mean about me as a reader, an intellect, a poet, a personality.

I have come to no conclusions. Maybe it is the sign of a restless spirit or someone with a lot of different interests. Maybe it is just what it is. I know only that it is real. And now, thanks to Kindle, I know it is quantifiable.

 

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