This weeks Booking Through Thursday asks: If you’re not enjoying a book, will you stop mid-way? Or do you push through to the end? What makes you decide to stop?
I rarely give up on books. This years DNF file contains exactly one book: The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton. In that case it was the main character that I found to annoying to continue. And this seems to be my most common reason for abandoning books. It was the reason why I gave up on Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro and Cather in the Rye by J.D. Salinger (both pre-blogging). I don’t need to be able to relate to the characters in the book but I also need to be able to not feel like I want to hit them over the head. That said I did stick with Emma by Jane Austen even though I wanted to yell at the title character.
The only other time I can see myself not finishing a book is if I see no inherent value in the book. It isn’t teaching me anything, not entertaining me or I find it offensive. Even the not teaching me thing isn’t a done deal, because to be quite honest with you, when I first read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (some 10 years ago) I found little inherent value in it. Then we discussed it in class, and the rest is as they say, history. I now count it as one of my favourite books.
I choose my books carefully. Books is one of the things I rarely by on impulse (strangely enough). I have a tonne of books sitting in my wishlists (Amazon, BookDepository and Adlibris) and I haven’t bought them not because I don’t have the money, but rather because I want to consider them a bit longer. Because I consider books carefully, read reviews, ask people I trust on how they found the books etc. I rarely, even when trying new genres or authors, pick books I don’t like. Thus I rarely abandon books. Plus, I stubborn and often feel that I have to finish something when I have started it.