Book Buying Addicts Anonymous discussion

Books started but not finished - Motivation to continue?

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message 1: by D.G. (new)

D.G. I'm one of those people that read/listens several books at at time so I'm always buying books while having a few unfinished ones. Below is a list of books I started reading (and got more than halfway done) but never finished...this doesn't mean that I didn't enjoy reading them, it's just that another book got in the way and now I don't know how to pick them up again. Two books that were recently in that pile where Outlander and Love in the Time of Cholera. The first one I finished (and loved) and the second one I'm reading now so I'm just looking for motivation to pick up one of these next.

The Thirteenth Tale (audiobook)
Madame Bovary
The Name of the Rose

message 2: by Lori (new)

Lori (tnbbc) hmm.. i have never read any of the ones you have listed. I tend to only buy two or three books at a time, and i only go and buy more when im on the last book from the previous shopping spree....

I dont like to see too many sitting there waiting to be read.

The only time I have ever not finished a book was those that just bored me to death or were too awful to continue with.. and i will never attempt to read them again.

Those are
Catch 22
Atlas Shrugged
Strange Highways

Good luck with your reading and I hope you find the motivation you are looking for.

message 3: by pop (new)

pop I'll start books, if I can put it down and not just be itching to get back to it, I probably won't pick it back up to read. Once in a while if I'm really bored, I'll struggle through one if it's all I have around unread. There are too many good ones to mess with ones that can't even hold my interest.

message 4: by Alexandra (new)

Alexandra Diva, I also started the audio version of "The Thirteenth Tale" but haven't yet finished. I had to return it to the library and am waiting for my turn on the list again.

If I get it finished I'll let you know what I think.

message 5: by Megan (new)

Megan | 2 comments I used to be one of those readers who never not finished a book, but in the last two to three years, there have been a few that I just couldn't seem to finish. I try not to get worked up over it and I say I'll return to them some day....but my bookshelves seem to grow in my sleep and there are so many I realllly want to read.
Here are the ones I've started and never finished, although I'm sure there are more....

Ursula, Under
White Oleander
Bel Canto

message 6: by Krystin (new)

Krystin | 3 comments I usually read only one book at a time, and don't start another until I've finished the one I'm reading. I only stop reading the book if it's just too awful to continue. But I'm pretty good at picking out books that are pretty promising so that doesn't ever happen too often!

message 7: by Sally (new)

Sally I generally make it a principal that if I get 1/3 of the way through a book, I commit myself to finish it, even if I don't like it. A few books that I just could not get through were:

Phantastes by George McDonald
The Liars Club by Mary Karr
Through Painted Deserts by Donald Miller

I have read some books I hated, because I was in a bookclub. Mutant Message Down Under by Marlo Morgan was one of them.

message 8: by D.G. (new)

D.G. Here I only included books that I actually liked reading. If I really hate them, I just don't continue (like Lady Chatterley's Lover...I kept thinking WTF?)

I have so many books in my TBR pile that it's not even funny. That's why it kind of upsets me when I don't finish a book that I start. It usually happens when I'm reading a long book/and or a classic - you know they always tend to have slow parts and then I start thinking about that new romance or mystery. It doesn't help either that I work less than 2 blocks from a Barnes & Noble...

message 9: by Matthew (new)

Matthew | 16 comments Well i cant help you out on Madame Bovary,or The Thirteenth Tale, but i have read both Macbeth and The Name of the Rose. Both are fantastic, but if i had to nail you down on the better read i must say it is Eco's.

message 10: by Matthew (new)

Matthew | 16 comments How could you Hate Catch 22!!!!?????!!!

message 11: by Alexandra (last edited Dec 27, 2007 06:36AM) (new)

Alexandra I'm with you Megan, I used to never not finish a book, regardless of what I thought about it while reading it. Then I gave myself permission to stop if I'm not interested/enjoying a book. If I'm not into it by 100 pages I figure there are too many good books out there, too many on my "to read" pile to keep wasting my time. I try to give a book a decent chance, often books are slow starters or get better. I think the 100 page gauge is fair. I don't need to love it by then, but I do need to find it at least mildly interesting, care about at least one character and/or care what happens.

message 12: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 5 comments Recently I attempted to read Paint It Black and at about page 100 I had to stop. I couldn't stand reading it. Maybe one day I will go back and try again, but not in the near future. I am the type of person that hates to start a book, and than not finish it but in this case I put that quality aside.

message 13: by Lori (new)

Lori (tnbbc) Matthew, was that comment directed at me?

The book lost me after 40 pages... no, wait, the book lost me at page 2, but i struggled with it and reread the first 40 pages three times before I just chucked the thing against the wall and vowed never to touch it again!

It was too all over the place, too many characters to keep track of, and the story line was going in every direction but straight ahead. I was developing quite a headache from it!

message 14: by ScottK (new)

ScottK I have mentioned before how I could not finish reading Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, However while chatting a bit with a friend on here I have decided to "Man up" and give it another go sometime in the near future.

I also could not finish The Golden Compass, although the movie looks like it might be good enough to try again.

message 15: by S (new)

S (deobserver) | 4 comments I haven't been able to finish any books of any significant length in the past couple of years. I used to be able to read thick tomes like the Lord of the Rings Trilogy but no longer. I wonder whether it's reverse ADD, not being able to read for long periods of time. These days I read mostly non fiction, most of them not listed on my good reads bookshelf (too lazy to update everything).

That said, recently I just managed to force myself to finish the following books:

Ziglar on Selling
Spin Selling

I'm just happy to finish those and I'm trying to do write ups on them.

message 16: by Matthew (new)

Matthew | 16 comments Yes Lori my comment was aimed at you, it was only have serious. While i enjoyed the seeming random style of Heller i realize the most find it maddening and agravating. I cannot talk, most folks would be appauled to find that i stopped reading the second Harry Potter book about half way through. I just felt like i was reading the same book over again, and i didnt like the first one enough to do that.

message 17: by gingerkitty (new)

gingerkitty | 1 comments I've found when I'm not getting into a book that I really want to get into, I'll leave it in the bathroom or in the car. Then when I do pick it up I'll flip to a random spot towards the end and start reading... often times the plot will be more lively or the dialogue more intense and will motivate me to start over. If you like it at a further point, you most likely will like it to the end. It worked for me with the Two Towers and The Witching Hour.

message 18: by Alexandra (last edited Dec 29, 2007 07:09PM) (new)

Alexandra Diva,

I just finished The Thirteenth Tale and I really liked it. It did take me a bit to get into it, but it drew me in the farther I got. If it's the slow pace or the voice that are putting you off, well that doesn't change. But the story does grow. It's psychological and emotional, a disfunctional and haunted family with secrets. No huge shocks, but a few twists and surprises. I'm glad I stuck it out, and after a while I began to enjoy the pacing. I also listened to the audio version.

message 19: by Bliss (last edited Dec 30, 2007 12:21AM) (new)

Bliss (blissreads) | 16 comments In addition to being a book buying addict, I'm also addicted to library books. I buy like a fiend but I give the library books first dibs in my lap.

I'm still in the middle of several "books from home" but I can only think of two (it's 3 in the morning...):

The Stepford Wives (re-reading)
Walden Two

message 20: by Aimee (new)

Aimee Cooper | 3 comments I have a few books that I just never finished. That is so rare because I usually devour books. I recently decided that I needed to finish them (or start all over at this point) but then went to the library the next day and borrowed too many new books. The plan is now on hold at least until I read my library books.
The three books that are nagging at me right now are:
The Corrections
All the President's Men
I think that I would like all of these but for some reason or another, I just haven't been able to finish them. Walden, I've tried a few times over the years. ATPM just moved too slowly for me. The Corrections depressed me! Has anyone read any of these? Can you give me some extra motivation for continuing the struggle?

message 21: by D.G. (last edited Jan 02, 2008 09:02AM) (new)

D.G. Thanks for the encouragement, Janis. I know a lot of people that loved The Thirteenth Tale (it even got an A+ in this reviews site I like) but I don't know what's my problem with seems too slow or something. I'll try to pick it up when I finish Cholera and Dragonfly (two books that I'm reading concurrently right now.)

message 22: by Alexandra (last edited Jan 02, 2008 10:34AM) (new)

Alexandra You're welcome Diva. It's possibly just not your type of story. And thats ok! I'd say if you're not interested in hearing what happens once she starts getting into the story of the two twin girls that may be the case.

If you want to give it another try, that's good! But don't beat yourself up over it if you just find yourself disinterested :) It IS a slow moving story. I started getting used to that and interested in finding out what happened in spite of that (I think using the audio version helped but I know you also were trying it on audio), but that certianly may not be the case for everyone.

message 23: by Salma (new)

Salma Maybe I shouldn't be admitting this, but I've been halfway through Lolita for five years. Also, I can't seem to get past the first chapter of Bradbury's "Something Wicked This Way Comes." I like Bradbury, but his sentence structure in this book is just killing me! Anyone agree?

message 24: by Salma (new)

Salma I've been meanind to read Thirteenth Tale for a while- it looks good! Glad people liked it.

message 25: by Matthew (new)

Matthew | 16 comments I completely agree. When i first read Bradbury's Farenhiet 451 i was hooked, then came the Illustrated Man and i was still going strong, then came the Martian Chronicles, and i had to put that one down. Then my mom suggested Something Wicked but i still couldnt keep it going, that was my last attempt at Bradbury.

message 26: by Alexandra (last edited Jan 02, 2008 05:33PM) (new)

Alexandra I wasn't impressed with Something Wicked This Way Comes either, I'm not sure I finished it. I love the story of Farenheit 451 when I saw the movie, but couldn't get into the book.

ScottK, I didn't finish Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell either, although since so many people like it I may give it another try.

And as for The Golden Compass I wouldn't have finished it if it wasn't for all the hoopla and I wanted to be able to make my own informed opinion. I just was not that impressed. And I love this genre. I started The Subtle Knife, for the same reason but I wasn't very far before I thought to myself "why am I making myself read this?" Really, the first book was ok, but I don't understand why so many people really, really like it. Maybe I'd need to read the whole series to get it.

message 27: by LJ (last edited Jan 03, 2008 05:44AM) (new)

LJ (ljroberts) Hi, I'm LJ and a compulsive book buyer. What's worse is the most of the books I buy are signed, 1st edition hardcovers; mostly mysteries. If I didn't buy another book, I have enough on hand to last 2 full years (I average 14 books per month).

I tend to be a serial reader; only one book and one audio book at a time. I am currently reading "The Tomb of Zeus" by Barbara Cleverly and listening to "World Without End" by Ken Follet. both of which I am really enjoyed.

To Diva: Do finish listening to The Thirteenth Tale. I thought the narrators were excellent and the book made my 2007 Top Reads list.

To Janice and anyone else thinking about it: I highly recommend The Thirteenth Tale in unabridged audio.

message 28: by LJ (new)

LJ (ljroberts) Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is a book I suggest listening to rather than reading. I tried reading it and just couldn't get through it because it slows down so much in the middle. But then I listened to the unabridged audio and really enjoyed it. Excellent narrator and, since I listen while driving, when it got to the slow part, I still found it slow, but interesting and it didn't bother me as much.

message 29: by Charity (new)

Charity (charityross) The only two books in recent times that I can recall starting and not finishing are:

Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer


Seeing by Jose Saramago.

I had been dying to read Foer's book, but after a chapter or two, I couldn't get into the book and dropped it...which I NEVER do...even if the book is the most terrible thing in the world, I usually stick with it all the way to its horrible ending. :)

I have no idea why I didn't continue with Foer's book (since it wasn't altogether bad...just slow to start), but if anyone can tell me if it is worth sticking it out, I will do my best to pick it up again.

As for the Saramago book...I truly LOVED 'Blindness' by Saramago (the prequel), but this book was taking waaaaaaaaaay too long to develop (100+ pages in, nothing had really happened). If anyone has read Saramago before, you know that he has a 'unique' punctuating style (as in a lack of punctuation) and it is extremely difficult to just stop and start a novel of his. Based on several reviews, it would seem that I am not missing much.

My new rule for finishing any book has become:

*Give it 3 chapters or 50 pages, whichever comes first. If it hasn't sucked me in at that point, it probably never will. And life is too short to read BAD books when there are so many out there waiting to be read.*

message 30: by D.G. (new)

D.G. I have been meaning to read Fahrenheit 451 for years...I'll check my local library to see if they have a copy.

message 31: by Chris (new)

Chris M. | 3 comments I'm with you on Madame Bovary. I also struggled through Wuthering Heights -- I felt some sickening compulsion to read it just so I could one day comment on it. Now I have.

Of the books mentioned, I say Farenheit 451, Macbeth, and Name of the Rose are all worth the effort. None of them are easy. They are challenging in their unique ways. F451 needs to be read with an understanding of the political climate at the time Bradbury wrote it. Macbeth has so much going on in it that if you are not a serious student of Shakespeare it pays to read it in a version that includes commentary. I recommend the Riverside Shakespeare. For my kids (ages 10 and 14), I recommend the No Fear Shakespeare editions. A surface read of Macbeth (i.e., just for the story) is always entertaining. But digging deeper into all the meaning packed into it really makes it live. Umberto Eco is tough under any circumstances and a poor translation can make him tougher. The best advice I can give about In the Name of the Rose is to not try to compare it to the movie. It is the most approachable of his works but still takes time. It is definitely worth it.

message 32: by Marts (new)

Marts  (Thinker) (thinkersutopia) | 32 comments For some reason I haven't finished
"The Prisoner of Zenda" and
I don't know why since they're quite good stories anyway I'm definitely finishing them by Feb

message 33: by Marts (new)

Marts  (Thinker) (thinkersutopia) | 32 comments Hey Chris,
I'm sure when you completed Wuthering Heights you realised that it was a pretty good book, I also had some trouble reading it at first, but now it's become one of my favourites!!
As regards Madame Bovary, I like the idea of a book which doesn't cloud certain realities but exposes them, in this case adultery which when written was a grave offence Flaubert had a hard time with this one, however, like Wuthering Heights, at times certain particular texts almost seemed unnecessary.
Great classics though!!!!!!

message 34: by Steven (new)

Steven | 9 comments I believe this depends on what you are reading and when you read it. i.e. it may not be your cup of tea or it might be your type of stuff but maybe you focus on it at the wrong times, such as just before going to bed.

I find weekends is prime ttime to read books as I find I have time to better understand what the author has written.


Steven Preece
Author of
Always A Marine

message 35: by Minnie (new)

Minnie | 13 comments Hi LJ
Thank you for the advice to listen to the book. I was given Jonathan Strange et al by someone who has very similar taste to my taste in books yet I just could not finish the book. it seems worthwhile but... So I'm getting an audio book. Thanks.

message 36: by D.G. (new)

D.G. I loved Othello, but I have to say it took me a while to get into the rhythm of the play (English is my second language.)

I agree with you Steven in that certain books are not everybody's cup of tea (just thinking about Lolita makes me puke) or sometimes it's difficult to focus on them because of outside distractions - I read mostly in the subway which makes it very difficult if the book has very long sentences or antiquated language. Also, sometimes it's difficult to get in a story because you don't have the maturity to really understand it. When I was 15, I read Crime & Punishment and thought "what's the deal with this book?' but somebody told me I should wait a few years to read it again. I finally committed myself to do it this year and I know that my perspective will be completely different.

message 37: by Mo (new)

Mo | 30 comments Mod
I have the same problem. There are just so many books to read and so little time. . . (sigh) What a great problem to have, in my view! :)

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