Monday, June 15, 2009

Putting It Down

I have a confession. I recently stopped reading a book, more than halfway through it. I really try not to do this very often. Of course, there are the occasional books that I struggle with from the start. But in general, I try to only read things that I feel will hold my interest.

My recent failure was 2666 by Roberto Bolano. I have seen this book so often touted by reviews and even on bookstore shelves as a "must read". I was bound to cave and try to read it eventually. I finally gave in when I found a copy that was divided into three trade paperback books. Until then I had been very reluctant to carry around such a weighty tome. In premise it seemed interesting. All these different characters drawn to a city in Mexico where hundreds of women have been murdered over a span of years (this part is real). It is divided into 5 parts and I made it through 3 1/2. Then I just had to put it down.

Even though I was well into it, I just couldn't stomach the thought of hundreds of more pages. The writing was a bit distant, and despite it being heralded a new era in Spanish literature, I just couldn't love it. I suppose I might admire the sheer heft of it, but not the book itself. Oh well. It happens.

How do you feel about stopping books halfway through? Do you feel like you might sometimes be missing out on something great? I worry about it sometimes, but apparently not enough to stop me from stopping.


  1. Hi, Lindsay,

    I really hate putting down a book without having finished it. My recent failure was Blue Shoes by Anne Lamott. I love her book about writing, Bird by Bird, but was bored to tears with Blue Shoes. I could never connect to the character. I may start the book again in a year or two to see if I was just in the wrong bugs me not to have finished it. It is rare for me NOT to finish a book, or even a movie. So you are not alone! LOL

  2. I'll feel a little guilty not finishing a book especially if I've paid full price. I just finished a good one called, "The Year of Living Biblically," by A.J. Jacobs. Now, I'm reading, "Think and Grow Rich," by Napoleon Hill. I've always enjoyed reading fiction and non-fiction, more non-fiction as I've grown older.

  3. oh, I see this is an old post. but--I have probably put down one book in my life. I feel guilty whether I purchase it or get it from the library. I accidentally bought a book on practicing witchcraft and had no desire to get farther than a few pages.

    If someone forces a book on me and I cannot finish, that does not count!