Forcing yourself to finish movies and novels

September 20, 2010 in Blogging by pacejmiller

That's James Franco, by the way

Here’s a random one.  Do you force yourself to finish a film or a novel simply because you started it?

I do.  As far as I can recall, I have never started a novel without sticking with it through to the end (case in point: I was stuck on a single page of The Fellowship of the Ring for a whole month — every time I started reading it before bed I would fall asleep before I hit the end of the page — and yes, it was Tom Bombadil.  I still ended up finishing it and the other two eventually).

Similarly, I have never walked out of a movie or turned off the TV either (I have fallen asleep before but I consider than an involuntary act).  No matter how boring or crap it is.

Is this rational?  Probably not. My logic is that since I have already spent so much time on something, I might as well finish it off.  There’s also a hope (almost always a stupid one) that the book or the film will get better — especially if it has been well-received or recommended.

Others remind me that the time already spent on a crap movie or book is a sunk cost.  You’re not going to recover that time, so why waste more time?  I actually know quite a few people that have walked out of a movie within the first 10-15 minutes and requested a refund (which apparently you can get).  I’ve seen people walk out even halfway through the movie, never to return.  Books go without saying — I know plenty of people who finish about 1 in 10 books, if they’re lucky.

What do you think?  Which camp do you belong to?