Read With Abandon?

From Booking Through Thursday:

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?

Usually when I abandon a book, it’s either because the writing style is off-putting or because the characters aren’t appealing to me. More often it’s the latter. I’ve abandoned several first-person books simply because the narrators were overly enamored of themselves (as they indeed might have been in real life). Another book I abandoned because the main characters were straight out of a formula romance novel–I could have encountered them just about anywhere and anytime. Another novel got put back on the shelf because the heroine was such a Mary Sue–each time she walked into the room, every man fell instantly in love with her; she always handled every situation perfectly and was showered with compliments from the other characters after doing so, and so forth. And, of course, she was stunningly beautiful. I wanted to kick her and the author.

When I was younger, I used to finish every book I read, no matter how little I was enjoying it. These days, I would never finish, say, Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (I know it’s considered Great Art, but the main character struck me then, and strikes me now, as a upper-class twit who would have been immeasurably better for having to work for a living. And a boring upper-class twit at that). Ah, the freedom of being able to put down a book you’re hating!

8 thoughts on “Read With Abandon?”

  1. I couldn’t finish Mrs Dalloway either! In fact, it left such a bad impression that I assumed Virginia Woolf was completely unreadable until I read Orlando.

  2. I’m still like that. I very rarely ever leave a book unfinished. It just doesn’t seem right. But now that I only have so much time to read, I should probably rethink that strategy. Too many books, too little time!

  3. gautami tripathy

    Sometimes I like the negative charactes better than the main protagonist. At least they make me read through the book.

  4. Looks like Blogger ate my comment again. 🙁

    I’m one of those who don’t finish books since my studies where I had been obliged to read some stuff I’d never had touched with a four feet pole. Like Kafka.

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