Thursday, March 24, 2011

Bookish Questions: To abandon or not to abandon?

I've decided to now call all my discussion posts "Bookish Questions" posts. What do you guys think? I like it! Anyway on to what this post is really about.

So the Bookish Question I'm asking today is: Do you abandon books?

My little brother is always abandoning books. He reads half (or less) and then just decides its not "fast enough" for him and he puts it down. He does this so often that I often question if he ever finishes a book! Well I'm the opposite side of the spectrum. My problem isn't abandoning books. Its that I NEVER abandone books. Its pretty much impossible for me to stop a book once I start reading it.
Its a mixture of book reading guilt and my undeniable need to finish what I start. I think that I can count the number of books I've never finished on one hand. In fact the only one that I can think of right now is Walden by Henry David Thoreau. I was supposed to read it for school and goodness gracious that is one BORING book. I guess you could say that's the only thing that could cause me to put a book down. If it's unbelievably boring. Otherwise I'll finish every time. So what about you guys? Are you chronic book abandoners like my brother? Or can you not stop reading a book once you start it like me? Or are you inbetween? What factors into why you abandon a book? What are some of the books you've abandoned in the past? Have you ever stopped a book only to pick it up and finish it later?

Julia :)


  1. Great question! I'm totally with you. It physically hurts me to abandon a book. Like you, I always finish what I start, plus I probably harbor some optimism that the book will get better by the end.

    There are only two books I can think of that I have abandoned: "Nanny Return" by Emma McLaughlin (I forced myself to read to page 200, but I should have quit long before that!) and "Reading Like a Writer" (only made it a chapter or two into that one).

    I actually wish I was better at abandoning books so that I could spend more time on all of the awesome books out there!

    Erin @ Quitting My Day Job

  2. I too (for the most part) have a hard time abandoning books and have only left maybe seven unfinished. Because usually my need to know how it ends overrides my lack of love for that perticular title.

    A few years ago I started on The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, it was soo boring that I put it down after about 100 pages. I left my bookmark in it and went back three years later and picked up right were I left off and finally finished it.

    In short I generally have to finish what I start, but if I know I won't be finishing it I'll read the last five pages so I'm not left wondering how it ends.

    The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia

  3. I agree, I find it really difficult to abandon books, though I admit lately I have gotten a bit better at it (good thing? i hope so hehe) It's just that even if I'm reading an incredibly boring book, I still want to know if it gets better or something :p great post!

  4. It seems I'm of the opposite belief.

    The way I look at it there are so many books out there that I want to read, that I don't have time to read books I'm not enjoying.

    I don't have a set number of pages I'll read before giving up. If I find myself putting a book down, not wanting to pick it back up and going through numerous books instead of continuing the first, I'll just give up. Since most of my books are library books, I just take it back and move on.

    I don't abandon a lot of books. I do keep track of books I haven't finished, just so I don't bother picking them up again.

  5. I am in the middle. As an adult, I decided to read "A Tale of Two Cities"... well, I thought I'd DIE before even getting half way through it. Then, I came to a realization that no one really cares if I've ever read that book! Why was a torturing myself? I was in a book club for about 12 years and our motto became "Life's too short to read bad books." We had one loose guideline... you must read the first 100 pages. If you just can't take it, put it down. Having said that and now admitting that there have been those I have abandoned, although few, the ones I have forced myself to read have often taught me something. I think being in a group accountable helps one persevere through the bad and often much is learned through the discussion of it.

  6. I have a really hard time abandoning a book, I may put it on the back burner for a while or procrastinate finishing it by obligating myself to another title- but I always return. Right now I am procrastinating Moby Dick... I will get back to it some day. I am determined to not fail!

  7. I don't often abandon books - usually I stick it out until the bitter end, even if I'm not enjoying a book so much. If I can't get into something I will put it aside and try to get back to it later.

    One book I did abandon was The Time-Traveller's Wife. I tried reading it 3 /4 times but just couldn't get into it at all.

  8. I only abandon books that are too "adult" for me or have too much harsh language that I can't skip over. Having said that, Walden is also one book that I just had to abandon, for the same reason as you--too boring!

  9. I'm like you: I just can't bring myself to abandon books no matter how much of a bad experience I'm having reading them. I wish I wasn't like that so much. I can't help but feel I waste time reading books I'm not enjoying when I could be reading much better books.

  10. I abandon books rarely indeed. Sometimes I wish I have done it (if the book is really crappy) but somehow I couldn't. Henry James is an author whose book I had to abandon (The Ambassadors) - it was so boring that the reading was like a torture to me.

  11. I don't like to do it, but I'm not going to force myself to finish it. Mainly yeah, because the writing, if they repeat words often (that bugs me) and are plain boring. I took a break from two books this month, and finished them this week.

  12. i usually finish the books i read, even if i come back to it months later :)
    i guess it's partly out of guilt.. but most of the time the book gets heaps better and faster paaced anyway. i mean, someone took the time to write it, why wouldn't i try my best to read it?


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