When Do You Give Up?

I have a few shows on my DVR that I never feel like watching. I’ve watched a few episodes of one of them and find myself looking at my phone more than the screen. One I haven’t had the urge to watch once. I watched the first seasons of the shows and liked them enough to record season two, but apparently not enough to watch season two. Yet, they are still there, taking up space on my DVR. I have no idea how long they will sit there until I give up and delete them. Probably when the new TV season starts and I start having a disk space crisis and something has to go to make room for the shows I actually care about.

I will occasionally give up on a book if I read 50 pages and it’s not grabbing me. I have problems giving up if I’ve made it past 50 pages and then get bored after 100 or so. I feel like I’ve committed too much time to give up at that point so my reading slows down while I spend days finishing a book I no longer care about. Why do I do that? There are too many good books out there to waste time reading one I obviously don’t like. It’s the same with movies.  We recently watched an entire 90 minute movie that none of us as enjoying because no one wanted to be the one to suggest turning it off.

How long do you leave a show on your DVR before you admit you will never watch it and delete?

Do you have a page number for how long you read before you stop? Do you have a point of no return where you will finish no matter how bad it gets?

Do you turn movies off halfway through if you aren’t enjoying it?

Why do we waste precious time on things we aren’t enjoying?


11 thoughts on “When Do You Give Up?

  1. I give up on tv shows, books and movies when I no longer care what is, or what is going to happen. It could be five seasons into a tv show, or 10 pages into a book. But when indifference shows up, I’m out

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  2. I don’t have a DVR, but if I did, I’d do what I do when I find I’m not engaged with a series anymore. I’d stop watching, and if I had the DVR, I’d then delete remaining episodes.

    With books, I have no set page limit for stopping or feeling compelled to finish. Around 50-100 pages is a general guideline. However, sometimes I stop and set it aside (if I own it) to pick up later when I’m more inclined for that particular type of book. I found recently that I didn’t want to just toss a book aside after getting well over halfway into it, but I also didn’t want to slog through what I was finding tedious. So I skimmed the rest of the book, and that was just fine. More and more, no matter where I am in a book, if I’ve lost interest and have found it tough going the whole time, I just stop. That book was obviously not the one for me. Sometimes the ones that get set aside never get finished.

    Movies on TV? If I’m not into it, I stop watching it.

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  3. Anything on TV, my default it not to watch, lol. But if I am watching and it is bad, 10 minutes is my limit before I turn it off. The only recent exception to this was Blade Runner 2049. I sat through the entire thing completely stunned and horrified at how bad it was. I think I stuck with it because Blade Runner is one of my all time faves and I kept thinking “It can’t really be THIS bad…it is Blade Runner?!?!?”

    With books, on the other hand, I have completion issues. If I start, I must complete…even if it is awful. There are only a handful of books I have put down without finishing (Silas Mariner, Confederacy of Dunces, Illuminatus Trilogy). I will slog through horrible stories just to turn the last page. I have attempted to complete Confederacy of Dunces five or six times. Each time I get a little farther before I throw it across the room. Eventually, I WILL make it to the end.

    It’s a character defect, lol.

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  4. a. I no longer have a DVR. Every TV show I watch now is something I already know I’m going to finish. (I have three exceptions right now, though: the Pain Factory DVD set that I got a couple of weeks ago, but the chances I won’t watch the whole thing are zero, and then I picked up DVDs at a library book sale of a couple of anime series that I couldn’t pass up at a quarter a DVD, Scrapped Princess and one of the Beyblade spinoffs). But when I DID have a DVR… it was full of movies.

    b. 50 pages is my usual rule, though there are exceptions on both sides (the earliest I ever jettisoned a book was page 24 of We Need to Talk About Kevin, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to handle the narrator’s personality; the latest was a book I no longer remember the title of I dumped in 1998. I was somewhere around page 275, 3/4 of the way through, and I just couldn’t take it any more). I will push through after 50 even if it’s terrible if the entire book is less than a hundred pages–99% of the time this rule doesn’t come into play unless it’s a book of poetry, obviously.

    c. Movies: I have turned off, over the course of my life, less than a dozen with no intention of coming back and finishing them. (All were given zero-star ratings; it’s one of the two criteria that will get a movie an auto-zero, the other being that it’s in some way egregiously offensive.) That’s out of, at minimum, 6742 (I know there are still pre-6/14/2007 things I’ve missed, forgotten about, etc. and haven’t put back on the spreadsheet since the crash). A movie being much less a time investment than a book (as long as it’s not Taiga, Shoah, or The Human Condition), I’m much more loath to ditch one. Given that movies are, in general, more surface-oriented than books, there tend to be fewer things about them that will tick me off. I’m more than willing to finish off a “meh” movie, much more so than a “meh” book, since it’ll happen in one sitting. (I’ve gone whole DAYS when not a single movie will get more than two stars.)

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