I don’t write a DNF review for a book unless I’ve read about half of it, but there are loads more books that I’ve tried to read and ended up abandoning before the halfway mark. Generally I try to give a book a decent shot before giving up, but sometimes a book is so bad, or so boring, or just so not for me that I have to get rid of it quickly before I waste more of my time.
I don’t feel any guilt for abandoning a book, but sometimes I do feel weird because the book I’ve abandoned might be one that has been given a lot of good reviews. And then it’s like “What’s wrong with me? Why didn’t I want to finish reading this book?” And “should I have stuck with it longer?” This is a completely different feeling from completely reading a book and not loving it (like with The Magicians), because at least I still finished it. But to not give the book a decent chance…? Okay, I do feel a little guilty.
But not guilty enough to keep reading it!
Anyway, I thought it’d be interesting to look at some books I’ve abandoned this year and see why I quit reading them. And then maybe, by putting this out into the ether, I’ll find some other people who have abandoned the same books and then I won’t feel weird and guilty any longer! 😀 Hopefully.
All of these are (I think) pretty popular, though some of them are maybe more popular than others.
- The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. I’ve tried reading this at least three times before, and every single time I got bored around page 100 and found something else to read.
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I actually only got two pages into this? And then I read a review where an issue with the book’s plot regarding race was discussed and I just felt too uncomfortable with the whole thing to continue reading the book.
- The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous by Suzanne Crowley. Got about 30 pages in, then was so bored and so unconvinced by the dialogue that I couldn’t continue, even though it was such a short book.
- The Affinity Bridge by George Mann. About 50 pages into this I asked myself “do I really care about these people or what they do?” And the answer was “no.”
- Drood by Dan Simmons. Got one sentence in and then remembered how much I dislike Charles Dickens.
- The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Crown by M.T. Anderson. Somehow both utterly horrifying and boring at the same time. Got 50 pages in and then I couldn’t stand it any longer.
- Something from the Nightside by Simon R. Green. It’s a small book, so I thought I could push through the last half of it. Nope. I clocked out at page 105– it was so bad that I actually tossed it away from me in disgust.
I’ve abandoned more this year, but I can’t remember them! But anyway: have you ever abandoned a popular book? Did you ever go back and finish it? How did you feel?