Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Liberated... abadoning books

I abandoned 7 books in the first six months of 2011, and abandoned another 7 books in the last 4 months... in a way it's quite liberating because I am trying not to feel guilty about it - "it is me, not you (or your book)". By all means, these are not bad books. In fact, you will find A LOT of positive reviews on them (more so than negative reviews). Regardless, it's just not the right time, or the right mind set or mood, for me.

How come people usually don't feel guilty when they stop watching a movie or a TV show when it's not to their liking, yet we feel bad when we stop reading a book? Or feel like we're obliged to finish them? I know it takes an author A LOT OF TIME AND EFFORT to write a book, but the same can be said for movies and TV shows?

Anyway... by stopping to read what doesn't engage me, free me to explore more books. Here are the list of DNF (Did Not Finish) from July onwards. Review will come soon to explain why I stopped. (for the ones I abandoned earlier this year, see here at the bottom - click on the book title for "reviews").

  1. Middlesex: A Novel by Jeffrey Eugenides (July)
  2. Joy For Beginners by Erica Bauermeister (July)
  3. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers (September)
  4. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (September) 
  5. Mirror Image (Daniel Rinaldi Mystery) by Dennis Palumbo (October)
  6. The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta (October
  7. Best Kept Secret: A Novel by Amy Hatvany (October)


  1. I will admit, it pains me a little bit that you put down Middlesex! But not every book is for every person, so I understand. It's better to quit a book that you don't enjoy rather than force yourself to read it.

  2. I only have 1 so far this year and another that I think it is my mood so we will see. I only give it to the end of the year before I say a definite DNF.

    The Leftovers cover intrigued me but that is as far as it got.

    Good for you. A movie is approx 2 hours of our lives and a book can be a week so I have started to say I need to give up on some sooner. Sometimes I keep hoping it will improve.

  3. Ready Player One too??? #sadface

    I feel guilty too when I abandon a book, but I agree we shouldn't. I'm glad you did abandon them, because reading should follow the mood and not be forced upon self.

  4. I feel bad when I abandon a book not because the author put in a lot of time and effort but because I put in a lot of time and effort! This is usually the case by the time you figure out that the book isn't going to make a turn for the better or become any more interesting. And a bad book often puts me in a reading slump. I don't usually pick the next book right up if I quit one in the middle. Still haven't figured out why that is.....

  5. I don't let myself feel guilty. With TV shows I feel disappointed (because there are so few others to turn to) but with books I have so many in the wings that I just shrug it off and move on. GREAT point and post though.

  6. @reviewsbylola - yeah when you force yourself to read something it loses all the fun! Just like back in school lol. I thought the premise of Middlesex sounds very interesting but I just couldn't get into the voice...

    @Marce - There were a couple of books I'd started but haven't finished, but I haven't listed them as DNF yet as I still wish to finish them one day. These are the ones I probably won't pick up for a long while (or at least have no intention on picking them up any time soon!) I thought the Leftovers sound intriguing (it's a dystopian though :) but I just don't like the delivery. You are right that a movie is only 2 hours long and you can fast forward if so incline :)

    @Aths - I know you loved Ready Player One - your review made me want to read it. But I guess I have a good reason to abandon it, which I will explain in my upcoming review :) It's definitely me and not the book itself.

    @Shannon - good point about the reader putting in a lot of time and effort! Usually I just google spoilers to find out what happens in the end instead as I am still curious, but just didn't want to spend more time to read it :) I am definitely a mood reader, I can't tell you which book I'd read next as I don't know what I want to read until it happens, that's why I have such a big stack of books I borrow from the library!

    @Juju - So true! There are definitely many books to choose from, and I am very grateful about that!