Mrs. B at The Literary Stew has come up with a great idea for a little meme about abandoned books, and I’m delighted to be joining in. Pop over to her blog post (on the link above) to see the Nancy Pearl quotation which set her off thinking – and here are my answers to her questions:
1.) What would cause you to stop reading a book?
I used never to give up on books, but in recent years I have done so more often – there are two, very different reasons. Some I am hating, and know I shan’t get any pleasure or edification from, and so give up. I don’t admit defeat easily, but it happens sometimes (hello, Tarr by Wyndham Lewis, the most recent culprit). Others simply get sidelined, and although I don’t deliberately choose to stop reading them, I realise months later that they’ve been neglected. It’s because I read so many books at once, I think.
2.) Name a book you’ve abandoned in the past that you ended up loving later on.
I can only think of one – Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy. That was one I stopped because I was reading it for a first-year class and simply ran out of time – when I returned to it last year, I loved it. Aside from that, you could count Pride and Prejudice, which I tried when I was ten, but couldn’t cope with – now, of course, I love it.
3.) Name a book you’ve abandoned in the past that you hope to finish one day.
The Chateau by William Maxwell. I can’t really believe I’ve only read one novel by him – I loved They Came Like Swallows so much that I bought lots of others, but somehow put The Chateau aside after a hundred pages. Just wasn’t in the mood, perhaps – but I’m pretty confident I’ll love it when I return to it. Now I just have to decide whether to carry on from p.101, or start again at p.1.
Oh, and the first Eye of the World book, which my brother lent me, er, quite a long time ago… I read 550pp over one weekend, in March 2010, and have only read fifty pages or so since… but I definitely will finish that one. I didn’t put in all that effort for nothing…
Thanks Mrs. B for the meme! Do have a go on your own blogs, and link back to Mrs. B’s original post when you do, so she knows who’s picked up the baton.