Addicted to novelty since 2001

Books That I Gave Up On

This posting could be subtitled: Ways in Which My Intellect Disappoints Me. It comes from Bill Stillwell via Richard, who have photos of books that are pending or partially-read. I’m refining things a bit. These are books which I’ve started reading, but given up on.

Actually, I’m surprised that there aren’t more. I guess I didn’t look at the bookshelves closely enough. A quick summary of the rejects, from top to bottom:

  • Copyrights
    and Copywrongs
    – Decent book, but very American-focused and a bit academic
    for my taste.
  • Two
    Noble Kinsmen
    – My director friend once joked of this book: "Hey,
    Bill wrote a new one." How much Shakespeare actually contributed to this
    work is in question. Regardless, it’s as dull as cheddar cheese.
  • Immortality
    – It’s about girls, right (anyone…anyone…)? This one’s my fault entirely.
    I should have been more interested in one of modern literature’s heavyweights, but
    simply wasn’t.
  • Galileo’s
    Commandment
    – A series of essays by science’s great thinkers. I got hung
    up on one, and went no further. Might come back to it.
  • A
    Gentle Madness
    – About bibliomanes. I don’t think I’m old enough for this
    tome yet.
  • Buddha
    – I’m going to give this one another try. I often make the error of bringing
    challenging books on vacation, when I just end up pining for Steven King.
    More on Karen Armstrong soon.
  • The
    Everlasting Story of Nory
    – A deeply boring book from one of my favourite
    writers. I’ve read everything else he’s written, and loved most of it. However,
    I couldn’t make it passed chapter two in this badboy.

8 Responses to “Books That I Gave Up On”

  1. Devon

    You didn’t finish Immortality? Shame on you!

    I didn’t finish “Dance Dance Dance” by Haruki Murakami, though, so I should just shut up.

  2. champ

    If you are planning on selling following books please let me know (cant afford new):
    +Buddha
    +Galileo’s Commandment

  3. Sue

    You know, I used to beat myself up mentally if I didn’t finish a book, especially if was supposed to have so-called literary merit.

    Then I adopted my new philosophy: Life is too short to read books that you’re not enjoying.

    Reading is supposed to be a pleasure. While banging my way through the 5-year plan for my English degree at UVic, I coined the phrase “hairball reading” for anything that I had to practically choke down/up to pass a course. The first entry was Tristram Shandy. A quick second was The Fairie Queene.

    If any of the books on your list are “hairballs” in your life, I strongly urge you to grant yourself the freedom to put them aside and never try to read them again.

  4. Hugh

    “A Gentle Madness” is a long slog unless you treat it like a bathroom book. Skip over the historical sections, and start with the chapters on The Garden, Ltd. and the 1980’s book market. Then start picking up a section or two at a time. A related book is “A History of Reading” by Alberto Manguel. Or you could just leave it on the shelf, and treat it like the beautifully produced book that it is.

  5. Darren

    Sue: Don’t worry, I’m generally happy to reject art that doesn’t keep me engaged. For example, I leave plays at intermission all the time.

  6. bree

    I have a ton of partially read books on my shelves. Some I put down temporarily and never picked up again, some I really do intend to finish (and I occasionally do!), and some were just that painful a slog.

  7. Myron

    I’ll vouch for Manguel’s History of Reading. Fine book. Easy read. Just don’t expect comprehensiveness and do expect to feel just a little inferior when you’re done.

  8. marginalia.org

    Read & Unread

    My current pile of started-but-not-finished books: An approximation of what I’ve read in the past, say, 6 months: Update: Richard provides a photo of his unread pile and some details about the contents. I must confess that my photo was just of th…

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