Sunday Salon: Abandoning Books

Sunday Salon

Happy weekend, everyone! Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians for tomorrow!

This week, I have not been reading much. I’m still working on On the Road. It has taken me awhile; I like the style, but the lack of cohesive plot or direction has made me unlikely to pick it up. I’ve been stuck at the halfway point for a few days now. I hope to finish it today maybe?

In other news, I went strawberry picking this week, but I don’t think I will be able to make much jam this summer. 🙁

Lots of reading ahead though!

The topic of abandoning books has come up on GoodReads a bit the last week.

I saw it among some people in my friends list and it appeared in some GoodReads polls. Asking on why I almost never abandon a book, I selected (with many others) “As a rule, I like to finish things.” This is similar to how I watch movies or more prominently craft projects. It does really annoy me not to finish something. I like the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction of finishing. Maybe the product is not as good, but I’m glad to have been done with it. It’s not always the same with books or movies though since the product isn’t my own.

On the GR poll, “If do you abandon a book what makes you put it down?” There were the following options: “Weak writing, Bad editing, When an author is committed to doing something I hate, I don’t like the main character, Slow, boring, Ridiculous (or nonexistent) plot, Inappropriate, makes me uncomfortable, Immoral, Extremely stupid.”

I had to really think about this because I’ve probably abandoned only about five books in my life if at all. Stupidity and ridiculousness aren’t enough. I mean, I read the Fifty Shades trilogy and the Twilight series. Same with being boring, and there are times where I’ve been largely indifferent to the character.

There is one book that I remember having to abandon twice: Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. I love Arthurian legends and mythology as a kid. La Morte d’Arthur and the other lends as one of the first novel length books I read. It was no surprise that I would try to read MoA: Arthurian legends from the female perspective. I don’t remember why I abandoned it the first time, but probably because it was boring. On my second attempt, I made it at least to one third or one half of the way through.

I know that this book is very regarded by many. As someone who is known for liking many things and disliking few, this is definitely one of the books that I memorably did not like at all. It was a complete and utter drag to read it. It was unbearable. The book was not simply boring, it was repetitive, overwrought, and had extremely annoying or two-dimensional characters that I could not root for. Even as a young teenager, I could not see this as a good work of female literature. All in all, it was a mix of things that made me abandon that novel. I do think the lack of interesting central characters is one of the big reasons I grow to dislike or abandon books.

How about you? What books have you abandoned? Why?

6 thoughts on “Sunday Salon: Abandoning Books

  • Dollycas

    I too have a hard time abandoning a book. I almost did a couple of weeks ago with What Maisie Knew by Henry James. The story sounded fabulous but the author way of writing was so hard to read and follow. Sentences circling around with no apparent reason. I got through it be must admit I probably missed a lot of his intent. I know we had to read James in school. I just didn’t remember it being so much work. Thankfully there was no test to take. I would probably have failed.

    I like to read for pleasure. I will give up on a book if it is boring, stupid or ridiculous. There are so many good books out there. Life is just too short to waste it on bad ones.

    • athena (Post author)

      Hi Dollycas! I know what you mean. I use to pride myself on reading or finishing most book series, but now I give up whenever the series gets too boring or my favourite characters are gone. I still finish most books, mostly through super skimming! It’s not a complete waste usually. Hehe. Have a good weekend!

  • Susan

    I don’t like to abandon books either. I can’t recall the last one I did but sometimes because they are boring or don’t suit me I do and will. I reread On the Road earlier this year and it’s not exactly easy to get thru either. But check my thoughts on it at Cheers! Happy Canada Day

    • athena (Post author)

      Hi Susan! I’m glad I am not the only one who found it a bit hard. I did finish it yesterday and was glad to read it. Hope you have a great end to the long weekend! Cheers.

  • jessicabookworm

    Like you I rarely give-up on books. The last book I gave up on was The Night Before Christmas by Scarlett Bailey. A chapter or so in I knew it really wasn’t for me. I’m not a one woman, two hunky men, love triangle sort of girl. I need a bit more substance to the plot.

    • athena (Post author)

      Hi Jessica! Was this a romance novel? I avoid those for a reason. They aren’t really my cup of tea either. I hope you’re having a good beginning to July! Cheers.


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