Thursday, March 27, 2008

least favorite

What kind of reader are you? Are you the sort that will discard a book if you aren't enjoying it? Or do you plow through to the end?

How do you pick your books? The ones you own? Is there a difference between that and the ones you get from the library? Are you picky about how your books must feel in your hands?

I have always been the kind of reader who rarely gives up on a book.

Those I set down partway through: Moby Dick, which I promise myself I will one day start again. The Name of the Rose, which began to cease making sense as my mind drifted so many times while reading it; I gave up halfway through and several months later, gave it another go, making it a much smoother read, though not quite as good as I had hoped (this is what happens when you see your professor-father reading and expect all that he reads is quality). Will in the World, which I started on our honeymoon and will get back to. Also Poetic Closure, from November, but I think my mind needs to be clear, ready to take on more complicated ideas to successfully read this one.

I'm also still reading The Peppered Moth, which I started yesterday.

Current IRP rankings: me, 4883 and student, 5069.

I've been reading The Peppered Moth in fits and starts, but I can't find a hook, can't find a way to get into the book. This doesn't mean it's a bad book, but I absolutely cannot seem to connect to the plot, the characters, the setting, anything. I want to fling it across the room and start something else, but that nagging I-cannot-really-quit-a-book habit of mine is getting in the way.

What are your least favorite books you have seen all the way through? What about the ones you abandoned? Have you picked anything up again that was better the second time around?


Lyz said...

Umm, my least favorite books that I stuck through are...

Bleak House (that's right, I admit it)

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggaring Genius (more like a yawn inducing work of staggaring ego)

I, Rogoberta Menchu (good read, but when I finished and found out it was a lie, I felt betrayed)

I regret most "inspirational" books I've ever read like Captivating, that book makes me want to slaughter kittens

Books I abandoned that I need to pick up again...

pretty much everything by Gabriel García Márquez. Seriously. I haven't finished 100 Years of Solitude or Love in the Time of Cholera. I think they intimidate me.

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, that book was so good, I just never got around to finishing it.

Identity by Milan Kundera--basically I adore everything he has ever written and not finishing Identity is really embarassing since it is, I don't know, 120 pages.

Anonymous said...

Hard Times, by Dickens. I started skipping pages. (And I had to write a paper on it, for shame...)

Aloft, Chang Rae-Lee--I stuck with it for maybe 2/3. Something about it made me think wait a minute, this whole mid-life crisis idea--John Updike did it with his Rabbit novels already, and did it better.

I guess I'm not the most loyal of readers--I do put the book down.

: )


lizardek said...

I didn't used to stop reading books I didn't like...I felt like if I had started I should really give a good try and finish the darn thing. Nowadays, I think life is too short to read bad books.

michelle said...

Hmmm...I have to stick with a book. I blame my OCD on the fact that I cannot start a new one without finishing the old. I also do not like reading more than one book at a time - it bothers me.

I've never been one on how the book feels I guess but I'll admit to loving that musty smell of old books. Love it.

Books that I have not finished...(there were a few I suppose...)

Bleak House (I want to start it over. I went through a Dickens faze and still love him...)

A Tale of Two Cities (I think I may have finished this eventually but I remember not even really starting it in highschool and just studying the cliff notes. I got a B+ on the test...)

Hans and the Silver Skates (this was in maybe 4th or 5th grade...)

Lyz said...

Oh, Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates. I read that. I remember liking it a lot although to this day I can't tell you much about it. I read it when I was like 6.

EWH said...

Isn't it amazing how our tastes differ on some things, but others are so exact? I [heart] Heartbreaking Work... and all of Gabriel Garcia Marquez I've read. And I have the exact same sentiments, Lyz, about Bury My Heart: gorgeous book, never finished it.

Books I've quit partway through: Lady Chatterly's Lover (couldn't get into it; will someday), Bad Omens by Neil Gaman (a friend tried to entice me; no such luck), and others I'm sure that I just can't recall.

I hate stopping, but if there's something nearby that I'd rather pick up, I will. Mostly that turns into just reading 3 or 4 at a time instead of ceasing one altogether.

Thanks for the thoughts, Molly :-)

KeLL said...

I have never finished a book I couldn't get into. I have started countless books and abandoned them before page 100. There was one series I read 3/4 of the first book and then gave it and the remainder of the series to Michelle. She loved them.
What was that series, Michelle?

KeLL said...

oh wait...
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (right?)
I forced myself to read it, even skipping pages, because it was for school. If there wouldn't have been a test on it....

Stacey said...

i just started the name of the rose for the third time. i found that once i got past the prologue ( the part i had given up on previously) it became more interesting, i guess we'll see. the one book i just can't force myself to read, even though i really really want to, is the cloud atlas by david mitchell. my lack of trying is so sad.