Farewell, Sweet Novel...
It’s a sad thing for any avid reader to abandon a book. Sometimes it’s not by choice, life gets busy! I absolutely have a stack of nonfiction that I swear I’m going to finish one day, honest!
Someday when groceries don’t need to be shopped for, laundry doesn't need to be done and dishes don’t exist. But it’ll happen!
This is understandable, and hurts a reader's heart a little less because you absolutely intend to come back and finish it. Someday.
However, sometimes a reader will sigh and admit defeat. That book, that excessively long narrative or convoluted plot or disturbing imagery will make you put a book down with no intention of ever picking it back up.
My forever abandoned books list is short, thankfully. Well, the ones that I was sad to abandon anyway. Everyone has a list of books that they started and realized, quite quickly, that it wasn’t for them.
I’m ashamed to admit that I was defeated by the extended edition of Stephen King’s The Stand. It was the third Stephen King book I’d attempted to read, and of course I purchased the 900+ page version. I made it at least halfway through if I’m remembering correctly, before I lost the thread of the novel. I was in high school and so busy with so many other things that I just couldn’t give it the attention it deserved. I’d always intended to go back and finish it, but 13 years have passed and I haven’t picked it up once, except to dust of course.
Another book that I put down forever was Wicked by Gregory Maguire. This one I almost finished. I’d read it primarily before, after, and sometimes during my astronomy class in first year university. I actually did like the book, I liked the writing, was interested in the plot and then it just got so sad! That sounds like a terrible reason to stop reading, but I just couldn’t take it, I was getting too depressed! I’d been reading it on this tiny little palm pilot that I must have misplaced 5 years ago and have never picked up a copy so I could finish it.
Maybe if I’d read it quicker, or in bigger chunks at once I would have finished it, but at this point it isn’t one I plan to go back to.
I admit I started to read 50 Shades. I had to know what the hype was about! I realised, within pages, that the writing just wasn’t for me. I can’t stand first person narration in a novel. I just really find it the opposite of immersive and am absolutely not a fan.
I also grudgingly abandoned the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. I read the first 3.5 books before I felt I’d had enough. Halfway through book 4 I just found myself less and less interested.
There are many reasons to abandon a book. And even more to take one home. How would you like to adopt one today?
Here’s a few lists of the most commonly abandoned books:
This one is of 100 books that readers felt were too disturbing to finish and here’s a list on Goodreads of the most begun read but unfinished books.
Some of these were a genuine surprise! Other’s, not so much. I’m not that surprised to see The Casual Vacancy on this list, as I think many people picked it up expecting something very different from what it was. However, there are quite a few on that list that I count among my favourites, like The Unbearable Lightness of Being and The Lord of the Rings.
Check them out! And maybe, come make them feel better by finishing them yourself!