What if the book turns out to be boring and he wants to give up on reading it, would that be "Han vill sluta boken"? Or how would the sentence be?
Sluta is only transitive in very few situations such as "sluta skolan" (Finish school). In this case "sluta" cannot be transitive, but you could say "Han vill sluta läsa boken".
If he wants to give up the book I would suggest using that very sentence, i.e. "Han vill sluta läsa boken"
I just want to add that it seems like English "quit" is the same way. "He wants to quit work", "He wants to quit school" are the only two that come to mine. Similarly to "sluta", you can't say "He wants to quit the book", but you can say "He want's to quit reading the book"
I think (though I'm not positive) that it's the same distinction between "to stop" and "to finish." I.e., "He wants to stop smoking" vs. "He wants to finish his cigarette.". Or here, "he wants to stop reading" e.g. for the night, vs. "He wants to finish the book" as in, he wants to complete it.
It doesn't mean much by itself, but it's just part of the word for a handful of verbs like avsluta, avvara, avveckla, avta, avgå etc.
It's interesting. I can almost see the commonality, after looking at each one. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Category:Swedish_words_prefixed_with_av-
It's more or less like "off"....avbetala = pay off, avboka = cancel ("book off"), avdrag = deduction (drag off).... This doesn't always hold true, but it can give you a handle on many of these words.
Yes...it sounds awkward. I would understand it, but it's not correct. Also, "He wants to finish the book" could actually apply to either reading it or writing it!
Is this a more formal way of saying 'to finish' rather that 'Han vill läsa ut boken'