Thursday, May 6, 2010

Welcome to Dumpsville

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This week's Booking Through Thursday question asks about not finishing books:

So … you’re halfway through a book and you’re hating it. It’s boring. It’s trite. It’s badly written. But … you’ve invested all this time to reading the first half.

What do you do? Read the second half? Just to finish out the story? Find out what happens?

Or, cut your losses and dump the second half?
That is an easy question for someone with my kind of Teutonic reading habits -- if I start a book, I finish a book. Without using all my fingers, I can count the books I abandoned without finishing:

Anna Karenina

Now, before you jump all over me because this is the greatest book ever written, I'll explain. I left this at the gym when I was only a few chapters into it and it went missing. I was in college and poor, so didn't get a replacement. I now have a couple of copies but to my book shame, still haven't read it.

Tom Jones

See above. Same exact thing. Not that surprising, really, given the number of books I've brought with me to gyms over the years, but you'd think I'd learn my lesson.

A Frolic of His Own

I intentionally abandoned this one because it was making me batty. I really didn't like anything about it, in particular the lack of punctuation and speaker identification that made it impossible to know who was talking. But since then, I became obsessed with book lists and because this won the National Book Award, I will someday give it another go.

India: The Rise of an Asian Giant

I got this from the Internet Review of Books to write a review. Despite the great cover, it turned out to be a very dry book, mostly of election and agricultural production statistics. I was stuck on a cross-country plan trip with it, so got about halfway through. But then I pulled the plug. It was liberating.

Maimonides: and the Biblical Prophets

This was a LibraryThing Early Reviewer book. It is a very good book, I'm sure, on its subject. But it's more of a textbook for rabbinical scholars. I don't qualify.

There are also two audio books I abandoned after about five minutes because I didn't care for the reader's voice. But I can't even remember the names of them.

How about you? Will you dump a book halfway into it?

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