Most hardcore readers will tell you, if you’re in the middle of a book and it’s just not working, quit! DNF! Do. Not. Finish!
In general I’m a fairly good quitter. If I’m not in the mood for a book, don’t like it, if it isn’t jiving, it can bring all reading to a complete and utter standstill. Nevertheless, there are some books, for some reason, that I cannot completely give up on, no matter how many times I fail at reading them.
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon: After more than four attempts I never get past page 50 but because this is set in a time period I like, it involves comics, and I have lots of peer pressure from friends to read it, I cannot put it out of the house. I even bought a prettier copy than the previous one I owned in hopes that my shallowness would provoke me into trying harder.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: I’m absolutely convinced that I will love this because I love Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Now, why can’t I get past page 50? I see a pattern here.
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki: I did get 100 pages into this one, and then a fickle mood-turned-slump made me lay it aside. Oddly, I remember far more of this book than most things I read… having a memory something like a goldfish. I don’t even think I’d have to start over at the beginning, but I have yet to finish it. I also have yet to give up. I shan’t be defeated!
The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt: She is one of my all-time favorite writers, and while the first third of this book bored me to sleep (literally, in my kid’s bed while I was waiting for him to go to pass out), I can’t let go. Also, it’s about art! I love that.
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton: I special-ordered the Penguin English Library edition of this book from Book Depository because I was picking and choosing pretty classics to put on my shelves. This is scandalously short, but somehow I just can’t do it. I should be able to read it in an hour or two, but…
These are my admissions, friends. Things I should quit but never seem to wholly disconnect or cull.
Which books are haunting your shelves?