October 25, 2007

With Reckless 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?"

Well, what a co-winkiedink! I decided yesterday to abandon a challenge book. I've been reading Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell for at least two weeks and am barely halfway through it. I can see that it is a very cute book with lots to recommend it. For whatever reason I am not getting into it. And I've heard that it has a slump in the middle, right where I am. And I would need to finish it in a week for it to count for the RIP II Challenge, which is just not going to happen. So I decided that it is time to give up on it in hopes that I will pick it up in a couple of months. I want to give it all the credit it deserves.

There are many readers out there that shamelessly toss a book aside if it doesn't grab their attention within the first 50 pages but this is generally when I find a book of most interest. It's a fresh new story that I am unfamiliar with, or at least in this specific form. There is a little something in me that says I must finish something I have started. I hate to quit something that I voluntarily chose to do. Somehow I feel as if I have shirked my responsibility or something.

I have of course set books aside to finish "just after this one" only to never be picked up again. When this happens it generally is with a non-fiction. I have an extremely hard time getting through instructional books. If it doesn't have a plot I lose interest quickly.


Eva said...

I've abandoned two books this year: An Instance of the Fingerpost and Making War to Keep the Peace. The latter was a non-fiction, so I just read the intro and the conclusion and skimmed the rest (not original enough to keep me interested). The former just made me feel horrible every time I read it; I got halfway through, around page 350, but I just couldn't take it anymore.

3M said...

I don't like to abandon books, either. If I did it would most likely be because of content.

Crafty Green Poet said...

I enjoyed Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell though it is slow and very long which makes it seem challenging even if you are enjoying it...

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I have a hard time with nonfiction, too. It just doesn't speak to me the way fiction does. *sigh*

Petunia said...

Eva-while I really don't do it often, some books can be a pleasure to put down.

3M-I don't know that I have ever put down a book intentionally because of content though there have been a few that I wish I had.

Poet-it was the size that did it for me this time. I can't handle something that big right now.

Susan-I can be taught anything if it's wrapped up in a good story.

Carrie K said...

Odd, I don't think of non fiction as instruction, which I suppose it is.

I'll abandon a book. Occasionally it's a book I really love and I'm not sure why - I can't bear to have it end? But usually because I'm slogging through it and realize I don't care anything at all about what I'm reading. Life is too short and there are too many books I'm never going to be able to get to to waste too much time on a book that has no redeeming value to me.