Abandoned Books

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Siobhan Burke
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Abandoned Books

Postby Siobhan Burke » Sat Jan 23, 2016 6:20 pm

Would you abandon a book you just can't get into or do you push through, hoping that the ending will surprise you?

My own rule of thumb is that if I am through a third of the book and haven't found any elements to keep my attention, I'm allowed to move onto something else. Characters and plots are two of my favourite things in this world of ours so if a book cannot hook me with either of those during the first third of the book, the end will probably not be worth it. On the other hand there are some books that I've put aside and come back, only to really enjoy them at a later stage.

Some of the books I've abandoned completely:

Leota's Garden (Francine Rivers)
Agnes Grey (Anne Brontë)
The Night Circus (Erin Morgenstern)

The last one had beautiful descriptions, but I didn't care about any of the characters and the lack of plot bothered me.

Some of the books I've abandoned, then finished at a later date:

Here on Earth (Alice Hoffman)
One Hundred Years of Solitude ( Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez)
The Last Battle (C.S. Lewis), though it still wasn't great on the second read.
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Re: Abandoned Books

Postby Maxwell Shadow » Sun Jan 24, 2016 3:21 pm

Two books I abandoned in recent years are The Casual Vacancy (I just couldn't get on with so many characters) and Allegiant (the split perspective writing got me down in the end). This last one was a shame because I'd really enjoyed the first two books in the series but just couldn't keep up with whose perspective each chapter was from. I'm sure I'll come back to that one at some point but I'm going to pass on finishing Casual Vacancy I think.
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Re: Abandoned Books

Postby Ivelisse Ada » Sun Jan 24, 2016 6:30 pm

For whatever reason, I am the type to push through to the end of a book, even if I dislike it or am bored of it the whole way through. It certainly takes me much longer to finish reading, and I may come back to it multiple times, but eventually I do finish reading it. I think I especially have trouble reading non-fiction stuff during the school year - even if I really like the subject, school sort of ruins reading for me and turns it into a chore during the term, so if I am reading something factual it is easy to forget that I don't have to remember every detail and that I'm just reading it for interest's sake. I also have a bad habit of really slowing down in reading series that turn into movies - for example, I've still only read the first book of The Hunger Games, despite the fact that I LOVED it. I'm not sure why I do that.

The only book I've abandoned and never forced myself through was The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Mordecai Richler. I'm not sure what was different about this book from others I didn't like but still pushed through - it was incredibly slow, but I've worked through books like that before. I really disliked the main character, but the latter was sort of the point of the book. But maybe in other books I have always found something to grasp, and in this one I just did not.
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Hanna Inari
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Re: Abandoned Books

Postby Hanna Inari » Mon Jan 25, 2016 2:27 am

I always abandon the things I don't like, because I think that life is too short to waste it on such things. I remember some of the reasons. For example, when people whom I like and want to know them better, recommend me books, I try to read them. Sometimes it's impossible however. One of such books had something interesting only in the 2 or 3 volume and I couldn't wait that long.
Another reason is that the author suddenly mentions an idea that I can't stand. For example, there was a wonderful book which I enjoyed reading and even thought that if I wrote a book, it would be something like this. At the end of the first book, the main villain was revealed and it was stated that he was gay and that his orientation somehow made him start practicing dark magic because it was against nature and so on. I was shocked and couldn't continue reading this.
There are also some non-fiction books which I stopped reading because they were too complicated for me and I realised that I didn't understand what was going on. In some cases I found a film based on the book and watched it, or abandoned my studies on the topic completely.
Mostly, however, it is clear at the very beginning of the book whether I like it or not; I read further only if I like the book or if I have another important reason to read it.

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Prof. Limine Snidget
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Re: Abandoned Books

Postby Prof. Limine Snidget » Sun Jan 31, 2016 5:29 pm

It's not uncommon for me to be reading 3+ books at any time, therefore there are a lot of books I have "abandoned." I just have way too many books that I want to read and I can't decide which one I want to read more, so I end up reading a bunch at once. Then sometimes I simply forget to come back to one of them.

I will second the fact that The Casual Vacancy was difficult to get into. That's one of the books I've "abandoned," although I'll eventually get back to it..
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Re: Abandoned Books

Postby Joey Stark » Sun Jan 31, 2016 6:23 pm

Like Ashley, I'm usually reading a few books at a time so some kind of fall to the wayside whilst I'm reading others or I might finish two and still be reading the thirds off and on for a long time. And like Ivelisse, I tend to push through a book even when I'm sure I don't like it or are bored, I don't like leaving them unfinished.
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Re: Abandoned Books

Postby Lavinia Rookwood » Tue Jun 28, 2016 7:46 pm

(Reviving the topic for no good reason.)

I don't remember the name of the last book I dropped, but I know it was a mashup of steampunk and magic, but for whatever reason, I had my brain mixed on the main male character and couldn't get into it. I'm sure I'll get it from the library again, since steampunk and magic are two things I love, just couldn't get into it then.

I'm getting better about abandoning books, though I still try to stick them out to maybe about the halfway point.
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Re: Abandoned Books

Postby February Fortescue » Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:14 pm

Most of the books I end up abandoning have the label of "classic that should be read because most people love it." I barely made it through Jane Eyre, for instance.

Since then, if I'm still not enjoying a book after I've read 30%, I delete it off my kindle. Now, it matters if I enjoy the book, and no one else.
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Prof. Limine Snidget
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Re: Abandoned Books

Postby Prof. Limine Snidget » Tue Jun 28, 2016 9:42 pm

I hate "abandoning" books and almost always finish, even if I'm not enjoying them. I am always hopeful that they'll get better.

However, I do often get involved in anywhere from four to ten books at once, so often a couple fall to the wayside and I forget to get back to them for awhile. I guess this classifies as "abandoning?"
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Re: Abandoned Books

Postby Prof. Tarma Amelia Black » Tue Jun 28, 2016 10:35 pm

I'll abandon books. If someone has sent them to me to read, because they really really LOVED them, I'll keep them and give them another go. Later. Sometimes much later ...

But if it's a library book, highly recommended and so put on hold and received, and I simply don't get into it when reading it, back it goes to the library. There are too many good or great books out there for me to be reading something that I do not enjoy.

That said, I've picked up a book which I had tried a year or two previously, and didn't like, and on the re-read I absolutely loved it. That happened with me, with The Hobbit. Everyone was oh wow this is such a great book and I read some of it and ... eehhh. Then, a couple years later, I tried it again. OH WOW THIS IS SUCH A GREAT BOOK! and SO ARE THE LORD OF THE RINGS books! and I was caught. :lol:
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Re: Abandoned Books

Postby Kathren Johnsun » Tue Jun 28, 2016 11:19 pm

While I dislike abandoning books, I tend to read multiple books at a time. So it will sometimes be so long in between readings that I will have to restart it. I will sometimes go back to those, if I hadn't, I wouldn't be in this fandom today. ^_^ However, if this happens multiple times with the same book, or I have absolutely no interest in picking up this book again, I will abandon it.

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Re: Abandoned Books

Postby Lavinia Rookwood » Wed Jun 29, 2016 7:08 pm

I may be due for a try again with Lord of the Rings, the last two times I never was able to finish it, but hey, third time's the charm, right?
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Re: Abandoned Books

Postby Niniel Sanders » Wed Jun 29, 2016 8:06 pm

Advice on reading the lord of the rings: Do not read the foreword and the whole bit about the parting of the Shire. It is very long and not very interesting until you already have a vested interest in the hobbits. Therefore, wait until you've finished the books. Then go back and read it.
And if you find yourself bored and haven't reached Rivendel yet; hang in there. Maybe even skim through the parts leading up to Rivendel. That's when the story really starts to speed up. If you still don't like it after Rivendel, then I admit, it's likely not your book, but I would advice people to do themselves the favour of getting past that before they decide they can't do it. Even if that does mean skimming some to get there; you can always go back and properly read it once the story's got you hooked.

Slight spoilers concerning Tom Bombadil
And when your reach Tom Bombadil, and if you feel that's got nothing to do with anything and would rather move on, then you're right and you can happily skip that chapter. I personally like it, but I do have friends who hated what they saw as an interruption that didn't add anything in their opinion.
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Re: Abandoned Books

Postby Nora Nightingale » Mon Aug 22, 2016 9:18 pm

Just read at least one response about abandoning The Casual Vacancy. So glad I wasn't the only one. I really, really wanted to love it, but I too felt that I just couldn't keep up with all the characters. I was also pregnant when it came out and you know what they say about pregnancy brain, so maybe I should give it another shot!


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