25 October 2007

Booking Through Thursday: Read With Abandon?

Today’s suggestion is from Cereal Box Reader.

I would enjoy reading a meme about people’s abandoned books. The books that you start but don’t finish say as much about you as the ones you actually read, sometimes because of the books themselves or because of the circumstances that prevent you from finishing. So ... what books have you abandoned and why?

I don’t often abandon books; I tend to feel guilty if I give up on one so I make the effort to keep going unless it gets really bad. Or, unless I get distracted. Sometimes a not-too-bad book will be deserted indefinitely when I get hooked on more interesting volumes and forget about it. An example is Rebecca - I started it last year, stopped, and finished it for the TBR Challenge this year. With these books, the intention is there to return to them ... eventually. But some I just couldn’t make it through; Anna Karenina, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, As I Lay Dying, Sons and Lovers, Mrs Dalloway ... and probably some modern ones as well. (One day I would like to get to the end of a Dickens novel, if only to say that I’ve done it, but I’m not sure which one to attempt. Perhaps Bleak House; I’ve seen the adaptation so if I can’t finish it, at least I’ll know how it ends.) The culprit here is usually boredom. If I really can’t get into a book, then I’ll consider quitting. And even then I might settle for skimming through the rest rather than stopping entirely.


Chris said...

Now that I think about it, I think I've abandoned some DH Lawrence. I muddled through Sons & Lovers though- for book club.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I couldn't get through Anna Karenina and Mrs. Dalloway, either. Mrs. Dalloway was a bit "too weird" for me (and hard to read), and I didn't care about anybody in Anna Karenina.

Trisha said...

I feel the same way about giving up, the guilty part. Also, I tend to stick with boring books because I think they'll pick up eventually and I don't want to miss out on anything, lol.

John Mutford said...

The only Dickens I've read was A Christmas Carol- you know you can finish that one!

Stephanie said...

I actually liked Great Expectations, but Sons & Lovers drove me nuts. But I did finish it!! I really hate leaving a book unfinished. It just doesn't seem right!

pussreboots said...

I only thought of three recent books for my answer. Happy BTT.

Donna said...

I hated A Tale of Two Cities and As I Lay Dying. Two such great authors and two such respected books. I'm glad I have company.

Anonymous said...

I've abandoned Gone with the Wind. I can't explain why, it's a wonderful, easy-to-read book. I think watching the movie too many times probably killed the suspense for me...

Literary Feline said...

Boredom is usually the culprit for my abandoning a book too. Thinking back, I can't think of one instance when I felt the need to read the end of a book I've abandoned. I simply don't care.

Amat Libris said...

Chris: I didn't have any external motivation to finish it, so I quit. Eventually.

Alex: I agree about Mrs Dalloway. I can't remember what I thought of Anna Karenina, but the fact that it was assigned reading for an English class probably didn't help.

Trisha: I think that too! After all, you never know when something interesting might happen.

John: I have actually read A Christmas Carol, but I didn't count it because it's so short. I'll amend my earlier statement and say that one day I'd like to finish a long book by Dickens!

Stephanie: Great Expectations was assigned reading, which might explain why I didn't like it. Well done on finishing the Lawrence - you've got more endurance than I have!

Puss Reboots: I'd like to abandn fewer books, and blogging seems to have done the trick. The knowledge that a review is expected adds a bit of motivation to get through.

Donna: I'm glad too!

TY: Since I've been known to peek at the last page (a habit I'm managing to break myself of) lack of suspense doesn't bother me!

Literary Feline: Sometimes even I get to that point, too.

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Header image shows detail of A Young Girl Reading by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, c. 1776