The Most Begun "Read but Unfinished" (Initiated) book ever

There are many books, whether contemporary or classic, which are often picked up by readers and started but that the readers never finished.

This is NOT about it being a bad book. It's more or less about it being hard to actually finish, as in it can be quite a challenge to read it.

What do you think is the most initated/begun book ever?
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flag this list (?)
2,224 books · 12,342 voters · list created July 31st, 2008 by Leila (votes) .
640 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Leila 629 books
103 friends
Collin 121 books
25 friends
Barbara 3975 books
65 friends
Heather 282 books
14 friends
Nicole 1471 books
59 friends
Antoine 949 books
169 friends
Ryan 291 books
79 friends
Littlecinnamon 817 books
31 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-50 of 296 (296 new)


message 1: by Erica (new)

Erica I think you should add Wicked. I know 3 people including myself who have started reading this book but put it down cause it was so HORRIBLE!


message 2: by Annie (new)

Annie M Add 'Great Expectations' and 'Wicked'


message 3: by Leila (new)

Leila Erica and Annie - you can, if you'd like, add the books by your own :) You can do so by searching for the books where it says 'find/add books to list', in the top column on the righ :)


message 4: by Annie (new)

Annie M perfect, thanks :)


message 5: by Philip (new)

Philip Some people consider CATCH-22 to be the funniest book they've ever read - I wouldn't know, because I've never been able to get through more than 40 or 50 pages, and didn't find those particularly fun. ATLAS SHRUGGED reads like a dream compared to this one (and I've read ATLAS SHRUGGED 2-and-1/3 times!)


message 6: by Arthur (new)

Arthur Philip wrote: "Some people consider CATCH-22 to be the funniest book they've ever read - I wouldn't know, because I've never been able to get through more than 40 or 50 pages"

Could not agree more.


message 7: by Tish (new)

Tish i jsut added Thomas Pynchon's Mason & Dixon. it is written in old english and after about 20 pages of not understanding the Kings english,i gave up
tish


message 8: by Rachel (new)

Rachel  Byrne Please keep trying with Catch-22. It is truly worth the effort. I admit that I had help with my first reading of the book; it was assigned reading in a Humanities class. I was definitely not interested--but I am SO glad I struggled with it and discovered the humor and the humanity.


message 9: by Arthur (new)

Arthur There are so many good books out there that I don't see a point of struggling when I can simply enjoy reading. It is a hobby, not a job.


message 10: by Joseph (new)

Joseph Oh God, The Crying of Lot 49! It's the shortest book on my 'to read' shelf and every time I pick it up I put it down after 3 pages.

Whoever enjoys Pynchon must be mad!


message 11: by Victoria (new)

Victoria The Mists of Avalon was awesome. I couldn't put it down!! Although it is sort of long i suppose. And not everyone is obsessed with King Arthur books :)


message 12: by Amy (last edited Jul 08, 2009 08:04AM) (new)


message 13: by Marianna (new)

Marianna The Old Man and the Sea is so short. I got through that one real quick before I ever thought it was boring or anything like that.


message 14: by Emma (new)

Emma I couldn't get through Wicked even though I tried like eight times. I was totally surprised that such and awful book was that popular.

But American Gods and The Book Theif...? I loved those. I couldn't put either of them down.


message 15: by Jay (new)

Jay Holy shit who actually struggles with Heart of Darkness? Joyce, Pynchon, Wallace, Tolstoy... all of these make sense. How is Conrad so high on the list?


message 16: by Leila (new)

Leila Jorge Luis wrote: "Holy shit who actually struggles with Heart of Darkness? Joyce, Pynchon, Wallace, Tolstoy... all of these make sense. How is Conrad so high on the list?"

I had a VERY hard time with that book :) Couldn't get through it.


message 17: by Chuck (new)

Chuck Leila wrote: "I had a VERY hard time with that book:) Couldn't get through it" Was referring to Heart of Darkness. Just go rent Apocalypse Now and then reread. Same story, even to the name of the antagonist.


message 18: by branka (new)

branka Catch 22 is absolutely worth the read. Stop being a bunch of quitters and try again.


message 19: by Khanh (new)

Khanh I had such a hard time with One Hundred Years of Solitude, it became a chore having to keep up with all the similarly named characters and different side-stories, moving from past, present to future. I know thats the whole point with 'magical realism' but it was very distracting & I have a short attention span.


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

Helter Skelter and In Cold Blood are the only two books I've never been able to finish.

There are paragraphs in books that make my eyes glaze over...as much as I like Tom Clancy books just about any paragraph that goes into detail about weaponry has me glazing, but I can push through to get to the next paragraph that draws my interest. It happens in other books too, were I might've figured out the plot or the characters are all over place and I get confused or I don't like the language or the politics are annoying or a whole host of things yet I "keep on keeping on" and plug away until the book is finished.

In the two books I voted for I literally put them down and chose to not finish them. Maybe when I'm older...


message 21: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 25, 2009 10:10PM) (new)

Erica wrote: "I think you should add Wicked. I know 3 people including myself who have started reading this book but put it down cause it was so HORRIBLE!"


Thanks for the warning as I have even come close to buying this book. There are so many many books I have started but been UNable to finish. Sometimes I do go back to them 2 or 3 times and finally do finish them but I sure prefer the ones I cannot put down and must stay up all night to read.


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

Emma wrote: "I couldn't get through Wicked even though I tried like eight times. I was totally surprised that such and awful book was that popular.

But American Gods and The Book Theif...? I loved those. I ..."


I made it thru The Book Thief but it wasn't easy. I couldn't read American Gods. I didn't like the title but the book was worse. I got half way before giving up.




message 23: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Jorge Luis wrote: "Holy shit who actually struggles with Heart of Darkness? Joyce, Pynchon, Wallace, Tolstoy... all of these make sense. How is Conrad so high on the list?"

I think I can answer for Conrad, though I swear I finished every word of Lord Jim, Victory and others. He's a gorgeous but self-conscious stylist. "Get on with it, already" I want to shout. ....Then again, some people love the very feature others hate. I guess that's why bald guys are able to score.


message 24: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Der Zauberberg. I am ashamed to say I just don't get its appeal. I tried to care about Hans Castorp but just wound up thinking about tuberculosis and wondering what all these people were going on about and why. My Ugly-Americanism is showing, I guess. I'm not saying The Magic Mountain isn't one of the Century's great novels, I'm sure it is. I'm saying I, personally, couldn't get WITH it, and because I could not--I don't know WHY not.


ღ Carol jinx~☆~☔ Rachel wrote: "Please keep trying with Catch-22. It is truly worth the effort. I admit that I had help with my first reading of the book; it was assigned reading in a Humanities class. I was definitely not intere..."


I totally agree it is worth the effort. So is Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities.


message 26: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Canary wrote: "Erica wrote: "I think you should add Wicked. I know 3 people including myself who have started reading this book but put it down cause it was so HORRIBLE!"


Thanks for the warning as I have eve..."


Canary, Horrible how ? Gruesome ? Sadistic ? What ? I know nothing of it.


message 27: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Marianna wrote: "The Old Man and the Sea is so short. I got through that one real quick before I ever thought it was boring or anything like that."

I like it much better now that I'm an old man myself (68). Did you know that Sr. Fuentes was real ? He was Hemingway's boat pilot....died a few years back at very advanced age.


message 28: by Thom (new)

Thom Dunn Ingrid wrote: "I've tried to read The Life of Pi twice and couldn't get through it...it's one of the few books I've ever not finished."

My wife and I finished Life of Pi reading out loud to each other....kept hoping it would add up to something and were disappointed when it didn't. What you have here I think is the AFFECTATION of significance. What do these Canadians know about tigers named Richard Parker and why the hell should I care ?


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

Carol wrote: "Rachel wrote: "Please keep trying with Catch-22. It is truly worth the effort. I admit that I had help with my first reading of the book; it was assigned reading in a Humanities class. I was defin..."

I found it to be so amusing it wasn't an effort. If its an effort and you are not enjoying it why bother unless its a requirement for a class? I try to read only what I enjoy. Life is too short to read boring, painful pointless books.




message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

Thom wrote: "Ingrid wrote: "I've tried to read The Life of Pi twice and couldn't get through it...it's one of the few books I've ever not finished."

My wife and I finished Life of Pi reading out loud to each o..."


How nice to read out loud to each other. I am rarely allowed to do that.




message 31: by Mush (new)

Mush I've started 49. I've finished 36.

Has anyone ever finished Ulysses? *giggle*


message 32: by Alyson (new)

Alyson Greene It's so interesting to see this list. Some of the books I totally agree with. I struggled and struggled through ATLAS SHRUGGED, I got like 2/3 of the way through, but my bookmark has been in that same spot for years.

And The SOUND and the FURY, that book makes me feel like a moron! I had to read each page twice until I gave it the obligatory 30 pages and gave up.


But LORD OF THE FLIES? I don't get it. I read it once in high school, and then read it again, in two days, for a college assignment.


I also loved THE BOOK THIEF and it kept me turning pages, but I've heard from others that it was difficult for them.

I think sometimes it's the narrative structure more than the lexile level that makes a book difficult. I know that was the case for me with THE SOUND AND THE FURY and I bet it's the case for others with LORD OF THE FLIES and THE BOOK THIEF.


message 33: by Yvonne (new)

Yvonne I just read Life of Pi for the second time. Finished it in 2 days, without stopping. One of my absolute favourites.

Couldn't get through Catch-22, American Gods; and once in awhile i pick up my unfinished Midnight's Children and give it a little go, only to get past a few pages only.


message 34: by Susana (new)

Susana Marsch I have tried to read Wuthering Heights three times at different points in my life, and have never made it past the first 20 or 30 pages, and I really don't know why.


message 35: by Michelle (new)

Michelle A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving I have a large imagination, so the annoying voice in this book was far too annoying for me to continue. I didn't get past chapter 2.


message 36: by Arthur (new)

Arthur Yvonne wrote: "I just read Life of Pi for the second time. Finished it in 2 days, without stopping. One of my absolute favourites.

Couldn't get through Catch-22, American Gods; and once in awhile i pick up my u..."


WOW!
At leat I am not alone in my dislike of AG.
Thank you very much.



message 37: by Xsupercharliex (new)

Xsupercharliex Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

It's so odd that all the first 73 books on this list that I've read I have no problem with reading through at all, but the hardest of them all for me is the 74th. Am I just weird? I don't understand how the others are hard at all, but then everyone's different!


message 38: by Xsupercharliex (new)

Xsupercharliex Thom wrote: "Ingrid wrote: "I've tried to read The Life of Pi twice and couldn't get through it...it's one of the few books I've ever not finished."

My wife and I finished Life of Pi reading out loud to each o..."


Oh wow =) I don't know anyone else who does that, how wonderful.


message 39: by Morgan (new)

Morgan F I always considered myself one to finish what I've started, but going throught this list and continually voting has shown me what a quitter I am. Then again, some of my favorites are on this list, but there is also ones that I certainly struggled to finish.


message 40: by JoAnn (new)

JoAnn Victoria wrote: "The Mists of Avalon was awesome. I couldn't put it down!! Although it is sort of long i suppose. And not everyone is obsessed with King Arthur books :)"

I totally agree! It is one of my all time favorite books!



message 41: by JoAnn (new)

JoAnn I totally agree! It is one of my all time favorite books!


message 42: by JoAnn (new)

JoAnn Kathy wrote: "Helter Skelter and In Cold Blood are the only two books I've never been able to finish.

There are paragraphs in books that make my eyes glaze over...as much as I like Tom Clancy books just abou..."





message 43: by JoAnn (last edited Nov 22, 2009 08:38AM) (new)

JoAnn Perhaps it is the blood and the gore. I can only read so much of that stuff and it starts to get to me!
Then, I usually put the book down, and seldom pick it back up!


message 44: by Emma (new)

Emma 'Atlas Shrugged' is abominable to finish - it loses momentum very quickly, and I hit a road block around page 900. 'Catch 22', however, I re-read every year - it's my favourite. Several of these - Pride and Prejudice, any Gabriel Garcia Marquez, In Cold Blood (SUCH a compelling read), Middlesex, Atonement, both Salman Rushdie novels on the list- are books that I adored and could not put down. It's all about taste I think - there are several well-known works that I've struggled through on this list that people I know love. Admittedly also with 'The Satanic Verses' I though the first part was amazing, but had to struggle through the second part - after much delay and effort - and then loved the rest. Some books are a journey like that.


message 45: by Toni (new)

Toni Mine was New Moon. It was not hard to read just totally lost my interest.


message 46: by John Murphy (new)

John Murphy Atlas Shrugged was tough, but well worth the time.


message 47: by Marty (new)

Marty My high school English teacher had us read "A Tale of Two Cities" by Dickens. I had a rough time and essentially skimmed and skipped to meet minimum requirements for class discussion and obligatory paper. I saw the old black and white movie a few years later and was captured by the final line "Tis a far, far better thing I do than ere I've done before...tis a far better rest I go to..." (best I can do from memory) I read it and loved it.


message 48: by Holly (new)

Holly I started "invisible man" by Raplh Ellison in 2002 and I periodicall go back to finish it but i can't finish the last 100 pages. Something keeps compelling to put the book down


message 49: by Selena (new)

Selena Garcia I started reading "The Lovely Bones" and I thought it was great, but...I stopped before reading half the book because it started talking about Susie's sister way too much and it was boring. I think I could never actually read the whole book.


message 50: by Gabriella (new)

Gabriella Why is "Animal Farm" on this list?


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