Abandoned Books

I always love it when other bloggers post meme’s and posts that ask for our responses and opinions in return, and so I couldn’t resist joining in the fun with Mrs. B from The Literary Stew and her wonderful new post A short Meme on Abandoned Books.

Check out the original post and the quote Mrs. B has provided from Book Lust by Nancy Pearl, which originally set her of thinking these interesting and thought-provoking questions.

Here are my thoughts….

1. What would cause you to stop reading a book?

For me this is very simple, when I start reading a book that takes away all of the pleasure of reading and instead leaves me with a sore head I always (albeit with a sense of guilt) think ‘it’s time to put this book down and move onto the next’. I know you shouldn’t give up too easily and some books should be more of a challenge but over time I’ve learnt to overcome these guilty pangs and realise that a book that actually puts you of reading sometimes just isn’t worth it. Reading shouldn’t be a chore should it?

2. Name a book or books you’ve abandoned in the past and ended up loving later on.

I’ll never forget how stubborn I was about reading Bel Canto by Ann Patchett and I can’t for the life of me think why because in the end I loved it. For some unfathomable reason though when I was first given this book I convinced myself that I just wouldn’t enjoy it. I gave it a go though and the first time round it felt like trudging through muddy water; hard going, sluggish and with no end in sight. So I stopped reading it. It was about a year later that I noticed it on my book shelf and though ‘why not’. This time round I flew through it and loved it. There were even moments where I found myself crying at the beautiful but tragic story line. It was definitely a book hugging moment.

3. Name a book you’ve abandoned in the past that you hope to finish someday.

I ‘m concerned this next confession may be considered sacrilege as everyone else I know has read and loved both of these books. Here they are though; The Wilderness by Samantha Harvey and We need to talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver. I know both these books are meant to be amazing and I’m sure I was meant to love them, but for me it just never clicked. And so I abandoned them. Perhaps it was the mood I was in at the time that prevented me from falling for them? They are both quite dark in their own way. Nancy Pearl talks about moods affecting books in the quote Mrs. B posted, and reflecting upon this now I can definitely say I agree. What mood you need to be in to enjoy either of this books I don’t know? But I would like to return to them (hopefully with more success) at a later date.

So what about it you? Do you have any thoughts on book abandonment? If you do be sure to pop over to The Literary Stew and leave your thoughts. And Thanks to The Literary Stew for getting me thinking about these interesting questions in the first place.

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8 thoughts on “Abandoned Books

  1. Thanks for joining this meme. I also loved Bel Canto! It’s a wonderful book and it actually inspired me to take up the piano again. We Need To Talk About Kevin is also a book I abandoned. I finally picked it up and finished it a couple of years ago (skimming most of the latter part) and I have to say that I didn’t like it at all.

  2. Bel Canto was an amazing book wasn’t it! That’s great that it got you back into playing the piano as well. I’m always recommending it and trying to get other people to read it. I can’t imagine why I struggled with it in the first place but it goes to show it’s worth revisiting books you’ve previously struggled with.
    I should really try and re read We need to talk about Kevin but I just remember finding it so hard going and depressing. One of those books where I’m interested in the subject matter but the execution of it just doesn’t work for me!

  3. I didn’t want to read Bel Canto either at first. A friend gave me a copy and said it was great but I couldn’t get past the subject matter. Finally I actually picked it up and ending up loving it.

    • I think it was the subject matter that put me off at first as well, there’s so much more to the story than what you first expect though. It was one of my favourite novel endings to date, really sad but beautifully done.

  4. I loved Wilderness and We Need to Talk about Kevin, but I am a fan of darker books. I hate saying this, but perhaps you should watch the film for We Need to Talk About Kevin when it comes out. That would be a quicker way of understanding the wonderful story without getting depressed for the long time it takes to read the book.

    • I have to admit I have considered watching it after seeing your link. I don’t usually watch the films first but perhaps it will help give me some insight into what the story is about and give me a feel for it’s characters. I do feel slightly defeated by both this book and the Wilderness so I would like to return to them someday. I know you said you loved the Wilderness but did you ever find it a little confusing and hard to follow? Perhaps this is just me : )

  5. I agree, reading should never be chore! Although sometimes, I think I do not want to let the book beat me!

    The book which I hope to finish at some point is Little Women, I only started reading it this year after attempting many times when I was younger. I am still finding it a struggle and keep going back to it, when I am having trouble going to sleep! I will get to the end I hope.

    • I know exactly what you mean Jo, reading shouldn’t be a chore but there’s nothing worse than feeling a book has got the better of you. It’s tough to admit defeat.

      I haven’t read Little Women yet either, I did try it a few years ago though and struggled to get into it. I might try your trick and pick it up when I’m struggling to sleep. Let me know if you finish it!

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