Most hardcore readers will tell you, if you’re in the middle of a book and it’s just not working, quit! DNF! Do. Not. Finish!
In general I’m a fairly good quitter. If I’m not in the mood for a book, don’t like it, if it isn’t jiving, it can bring all reading to a complete and utter standstill. Nevertheless, there are some books, for some reason, that I cannot completely give up on, no matter how many times I fail at reading them.
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon: After more than four attempts I never get past page 50 but because this is set in a time period I like, it involves comics, and I have lots of peer pressure from friends to read it, I cannot put it out of the house. I even bought a prettier copy than the previous one I owned in hopes that my shallowness would provoke me into trying harder.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: I’m absolutely convinced that I will love this because I love Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Now, why can’t I get past page 50? I see a pattern here.
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki: I did get 100 pages into this one, and then a fickle mood-turned-slump made me lay it aside. Oddly, I remember far more of this book than most things I read… having a memory something like a goldfish. I don’t even think I’d have to start over at the beginning, but I have yet to finish it. I also have yet to give up. I shan’t be defeated!
The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt: She is one of my all-time favorite writers, and while the first third of this book bored me to sleep (literally, in my kid’s bed while I was waiting for him to go to pass out), I can’t let go. Also, it’s about art! I love that.
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton: I special-ordered the Penguin English Library edition of this book from Book Depository because I was picking and choosing pretty classics to put on my shelves. This is scandalously short, but somehow I just can’t do it. I should be able to read it in an hour or two, but…
These are my admissions, friends. Things I should quit but never seem to wholly disconnect or cull.
Which books are haunting your shelves?
Do you like podcasts like This American Life, RadioLab, or Planet Money
is kinda like those, but for books. Go here to find out more
, or click the image below: