Firstly, a post by Eva over at A Striped Armchair about abandoned books got me thinking about the last time I abandoned a book partway through. To be honest, the ones I could remember from the past few years numbered less than the fingers of one hand – in fact, just two… They were Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl, and Trace: The New Scarpetta Novel: 1 by Patricia Cornwell. In both cases I got to about page 100, then just got fed up.
The Pessl was over 500 pages and kept digressing from the plot so much I despaired that anything was going to happen. However shedloads of people adored this book – see its Librarything page and look at the ratings on the right-hand side. It did have a lovely cover in hardback though (see left). With the Cornwell, this was when I fell out with Kay Scarpetta – I found this one so formulaeic, that I’ve not bothered with Cornwell since – although I’m happy to be pointed in the direction of a return to form as I loved the first half dozen or so of this series.
I’ve reached an age where I should be able to be ruthless and abandon any book I’m not getting on with, but I still seem to persevere to the end – usually skimming rather than reading properly, which is an even bigger waste of time. What I should do is put it aside to return to at a later date, or just stop reading and get rid of it. I’m OK(ish) at abandoning books before I start them, but again I tend to return them to the TBR rather than dispose of them. It’s still such a difficult thing to do – I’m always hopeful that any book I read will win me over in the end …
Can you abandon a book once you’ve started?
What are your strategies for whether to read on or not?
Now for something completely different. Next week I’m going to another first in Abingdon – a literary dinner. My fave bookshop Mostly Books is hosting an evening at a local hostelry with the fantastic author Sophie Hannah who writes some of the best and nastiest British psychological thrillers out there. I’ve got her third novel The Point of Rescue in the TBR and hope to reacquaint myself with her style before the dinner, but I also have a book of her poetry – Pessimism for Beginners and I hope she can be persuaded to talk about that as well. I’ll report back next week!
- I Think I Love You by Alison Pearson. I’m dying to read this as it involves my teen hero – David Cassidy (swoon). Strictly speaking, it’s a novel about the chap who runs his UK fanclub and pretends to be him corresponding with all the teenyboppers. Sounds hilarious and I may have to download some tracks to listen to to accompany it!
- Union Atlantic
by Adam Haslett – a contemporary novel about the nature of power and capitalism. Already read and reviewed at Just William’s luck
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer 1 - I got sent a new edition of the first 3 Buffy novels by Simon & Schuster. I’m actually looking forward to reading them – particularly as I never really watched the TV series – will they stand up on their own?