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Episode Discussions > Episode 52; Accidental Abandonment or Giving Up on Books

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message 1: by Simon (new)

Simon (SavidgeReads) | 449 comments Mod
Both Gavin and I have recently read two thrillers that they put to one side for a while. One because the books atmosphere was so realistic it proved too cloying for me and I needed a breather, the other because Gavin was just not getting as interested as he wanted to. We both went back to reading them and ended up really liking them after this break. Have any of you done this?

Why is it some books we accidentally abandon, one minute you are reading it and then you realise you are reading something else, and what winds us up enough to give up a book for good?

Why do we feel we need to finish books which we feel a little ‘meh’ over and aren’t really offending us but aren’t stimulating us either? Do any of you have a pile of half read books like Simon which you think you might continue with one day though you aren't desperate to read them but nor do you want to give them up? Any advice on these?

Also what will put you off finishing a book? Do you, like both myself and Gavin, have a list of things you simply won't forgive a book or author for?


message 2: by Nose in a book (new)

Nose in a book (Kate) (Nose_in_a_book) | 40 comments I quite often abandon a book early on because I can't get into it, but I usually put it back on the TBR shelf to try again. A recent(ish) example of picking one back up again is Break of Day by Colette, which I found really slow and draggy on first attempt but second time round I loved it. I think that was just a timing thing. Most of the others are "classics" that I feel I should try again to get through, even if it is hard work.

I have finished far too many meh books, but usually because they were easy, quick reads that weren't at all fulfilling but didn't take much time or brainpower to get through!


Dan (aka Utterbiblio) (utterbiblio) I often abandon books, but it's usually an accident. The accident being that I see a shiny new book and read that instead. oops.

I also have a 60 page rule, like Simon.


message 4: by Elizabeth☮ (new)

Elizabeth☮ i will read what is tolerable - whether it's ten pages or 200. i feel no shame about abandoning books. life is too short.


message 5: by Paul (new)

Paul Titley (Paultitley) | 8 comments I'm also in the "happy to abandon a book" club - There's a lot of stuff to be read and not everything is for everyone.

For me, it's usually the characters involved that will sway my decision. I am happy to dislike a character, but if I get to the point where I don't have any buy-in with the players, I give up.

The other, occasional, challenge I have is one of scale - the particular example I can give is Lord of The Rings - half way through the second book, I lost what was going on, I couldn't grasp how large the land was, nor where all the characters had ended up... I had to put it down....

I take a different approach to non-fiction - where I appreciate fact, detail and good research - I have struggled with a couple of non-fiction works where the writer has tried to characterise historical figures, and it has felt very false - distracting away from the information and story I'm actually interested in!

I think everyone has a story or two about books that have rewarded patience - my favourite being Martin Amis' London Fields. I abandoned the book at my first attempt in 2004 - At the half way point of my second attempt last year, I was really struggling - but I'm glad I persevered, reading the last third in one sitting...


message 6: by Louise (new)

Louise | 154 comments I often give up on biographies without finishing them - I think George Sand and Talleyrand are some of the few I've finished in one go :-)
And then there are those you plan on going back to and try again later- I've recently done that with The Game by A.S. Byatt


message 7: by Alexia (new)

Alexia (crittersmom) | 3 comments I tend more to abandon series when I feel as though I'm resding the same book over and over again. I will sometimes put a book down for various and sundry reasons and forget to pick it back up bit don't consider it abandoned because I really mean to finish it someday.


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