Oct 27, 2007

Meme: with Abandon?

Posted on Booking Through Thursday by 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 think I've ever let circumstances make me abandon a book, except once. I felt my husband was getting addicted to a television show and he countered saying he was just as involved with the characters as I was with characters in the book I was reading, he couldn't stop watching every episode to find out what happened any more than I could quit reading the book. To prove him wrong I quit reading that book and picked up a new one! It was City of Joy by Dominique Lapierre. I really need to go back and finish it!

Other than that, I only abandon a book if I really don't like it. I've actually abandoned many books, although I'm not sure at what point it's abandonment and what point just quitting a trial reading. Often after skimming and determining I want to try a book, I'll find it intolerable or boring after just one chapter and quit. Sometimes I'll get halfway through a book before I realize I'd rather be reading something else. I have no qualms about quitting then either. There's just too much to read out there to waste it on something I'm not enjoying! Or learning from. Usually if I get more than halfway through, I'll make a good effort to finish, or at least skip to the end and see what happens. You can see a list of books I abandoned recently here. It really does say a lot about someone's taste in books to see what they don't like reading. I began keeping track of books I abandoned to prevent myself from trying them again after I've forgotten all about them.

I usually don't like books that have too much sex or swearing, are full of action and little character development, have unrealistic or unbelievable characters, awkward dialog, silly phrases, dull writing, or that feel to me boring, contrived, cliche or pretentious. Or if I am just not interested in the subject matter. Really it's all a matter of taste. There have been occasions where I tried and abandoned a book several times, and on a later attempt absolutely loved it! National Velvet and The Plague Dogs are two examples. Sometimes I'm just not in the mood for a certain type of book, but if it looks good enough I'll attempt it later.

13 comments:

Literary Feline said...

I'm with you in that I only abandon books if I'm not enjoying it. I don't often give up on a book, but I have and I will. I only abandoned one book so far this year, and it's one I hope to go back to eventually.

Maggie said...

Hi! Just wanted to say thanks for placing maggiereads on your blogroll and I'll return the favor! :D I love the name of your blog and I look forward to many informative posts. ;)

EnnaVic said...

Hi - I am reading all the late BTT posts cos I was so late myself.

I am so glad you gave Plague Dogs another try - great book, great author :)

lisamm said...

Sometimes I'll go back to a book I've abandoned, but I usually find my first instinct was right.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I rarely give up on a book, but when I do my reasons are very similar to yours.

Jeane said...

Maggie: You're welcome! Thanks for putting my link on your blog, that's nice of you.

Jeane said...

Ennavic: perhaps I should do the same with "Shardik" the only Adams book I haven't been able to get through yet.

Laura said...

Boy, I'm in the minority here. Recently I've been finding myself abandoning books I like (or at least don't hate). If I leave a book that I enjoyed while reading, and it just doesn't grab me enough to return, I'll stop. I guess I feel that that taste is enough. Or maybe I'm just impatient to move on to the next great author.

Framed said...

I've only abandoned one book recently after deciding it was borderline porn. I really try to finish books because sometimes the ending makes up for a poor beginning. However, if you have to force yourself to read it, it's probably best to quit.

Jeane said...

Laura: I don't get it. How can you just "have a taste" and not finish? I couldn't bear that, if it was a book I was enjoying.

Framed: Yes, I agree, feeling like you're forcing yourself to finish means it's time to quit!

Fre said...

I frequently abandon books I like, and my reasoning is similar to laura's in that I won't pick up a book I've been reading if I don't feel compelled to. My wife will finish many books she's only partially enjoyed or more out of obligation than compulsion. I can't really do that with a book. A TV show, on the other hand...

Laura said...

I guess I've started to think of abandoning books like chocolate cake. A few bites are good, but you don't have to eat the whole cake. Whoops- bad analogy. Okay, it's like having family visit- you love them but you don't want them to stay forever.

Jeane said...

Laura: If it's chocolate I have to eat the whole cake!