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To continue reading or not to?

>> Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I was browsing through the internet and saw this very cool infographic by Goodreads. I learned in graduate school that everyone has varied reading paces for different books. There are some books that you can finish in one sitting, even if it has a thousand or so pages. There are some pages that takes you weeks, months, and even years to finish. And there are books that you just put down and abandon it.

The infographics talks about the reasons why people abandon books, and what books are usually abandoned.


Source


While I was going through it, I began to reflect and look on my reading habits. I also checked the book titles to see if I have read them or have gone through similar experiences with those books.

Goodreads top five most abandoned books:
1. Casual Vacancy - I haven't found time to read this yet. As a Potterhead who has found great respect to the world J.K. Rowling has created, I should be excited for this book. I think being a Potterhead has its disadvantages, because I have high expectations for the other titles that J.K. Rowling released or are planning to release. I believe that the story is different from the Harry Potter world that we have loved. I think the story is more mature. According to my friends who have read it, they were not too happy with the story. Maybe that is the reason why I'm delaying my reading time with it. Peer pressure. haha
2. Fifty Shades of Gray - I don't have plans of reading this. I've seen snippets on Tumblr and puh-leeze, I've read better fanfics than that. I know Fifty Shades was originally a fanfiction inspired by Twilight. I don't have anything against fanfiction because I read them. But judging from the snippets I've seen, I can say that it can be dumped in the badfic bin.
3. Eat, Pray, Love - For some reason, I don't like reading nonfiction books. I prefer fiction that exaggerates reality. I've seen the movie (watched out of curiosity) and I only liked the eat part. So I might read it... or not.
4. Wicked - Ah this book is so different from the musical. I finished this, but I only remember parts from it. If there was a one-word description challenge for this book, I'd say "political." The book really built upon how Elphaba came to be. The musical just treated her as misjudged and special student, but the book delved deeper than that. The relationship between her and Fiyero was more intimate. You'd also see the transformation in Fiyero from being a carefree student to realizing what Elphaba wanted to do. I can't remember much because the book was so long. Gregory Maguire's style of writing is just not for me.
5. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - I really thought I'd abandon this book for real. I started reading a few pages of it, then put it down because I just didn't get it. Then after five months (yes, I remember), I picked it up again and then it clicked. I think it's just one of those books that when you hurdle one difficult chapter, everything will be smooth-sailing. I think the names of the characters put me off a bit, because they're not your usual English names. It's Swedish for heaven's sake. I love the mysteriousness of the book, from Lisbeth to Mikael, to Mikael's project. I think my love for mystery gave me reason to keep on reading.

Top five abandoned classics:
I have only read Lord of the Rings among those five titles in the list. Lord of the Rings trilogy is a difficult read because J.R.R. Tolkien really gives his all in vividly describing each scene and each character. It's information overload. But for a visual person like me, I like it because his descriptions are like a dummy's guide to imagination. You get lost in the words because you're busy imagining how the author wanted you to see it.

I have lots of classics in my shelf that are for now abandoned. I miiiight go back to it some time in the future.
1. Wuthering Heights - GOOD LORD. When when I get past the second page?
2. Oliver Twist - I love the abridged version when I was a child. I've seen almost all movie adaptations to this (I think). I'm still desperately looking for a bootleg of the musical with Rowan Atkinson and Gwion Jones (but there aren't bootleg recorders in West End. haha) I started reading the unabridged version. I think I stopped in the 25% mark. I can't remember.
3. Tale of the Two Cities - Well, I've read the comic version. Does that count? Of course not.
4. Peter Pan - My copy has the unabridged text, printed to look like a children's book with lots of colorful illustrations. I've spent time looking through the pictures, but not the text.
5. Alice in Wonderland - I'm late, I'm late, I'm late. *jumps into the rabbit hole* I think I stopped after Alice drank the liquid in the bottle and shrank herself.

What is it about a book that makes you put it down?
From the choices, I picked two:
1. Slow, boring
2. Ridiculous plot
I can spend my time reading better books so I won't waste mine trying to read a boring book. /snob

What keeps you turning pages?
1. Committed to the series - This is why I don't like reading series. I HAVE to finish them. (note: this is said as a joke) Which means, I have to save up to buy ALL books in the series. Bye money.
2. I'm usually pleasantly surprised that an author can pull it out at the end - I love these kinds of books. That one last paragraph or last sentence that hits you straight in the heart, then everything finally makes sense, or gives a realization that daaammmn. what. the. hell. You get what I mean???? Come on, readers.
3. I promised a friend to finish it (not on the list) - I swap books with friends. Of course you have to finish reading it so that you can share your opinion or feelings towards the book with your friend. If you stopped reading, what's there to discuss? Besides, my friends don't allow me to return them unless I've finished reading it. Darnit.

When do you abandon a book?
It's similar to the "what is it about a book that makes you put it down" question. I don't have a specific number of pages. When the plot gets boring or ridiculous for me, it's back to the shelf you go.

How about you, what books have you abandoned or is trying hard not to abandon?

3 comments:

sillysili 11:00 AM  

I'm trying so hard... SO HARD to finish Ulysses.

And I also thought that reading the short prose of Eduardo Galeano would be very easy. I was dead wrong. Hahaha!

Cheers.

J

yumi 11:09 AM  

JAAAYY?!?!?!?! JAAAYYY!!!

haha we cannot be fooled with the word "short" in short prose.

Good luck to us in finishing those abandoned books!

sillysili 11:31 AM  

Hahaha! Yeah!

J

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