Sunday Salon: Abandoning Books
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?