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April 04, 2010



My older daughter loved One Hundred Years of Solitude, but I've never attempted it. I am embarrassed to admit that I wanted to see what the craze was all about over Twilight, so I tried to read a couple of pages. (but I couldn't do it!) The writing was TOO awful.


I don't force myself, no. I can say that I have tried on several occasions to read the celebrated 18th C. novel "Tristram Shandy" and have gotten nowhere. I went through a love affair in my late 20s with Central/S. American and Eastern European novelists, and I think it is was an age/headspace thing that allowed me to open up to those ideas - Isabelle Allende, Mario Vargas Llosa, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Milan Kundera - and for some reason I got through them all, and with pleasure. The last book I put aside though was a relatively easy one - "The Italian Secretary" by Caleb Carr. I usually love his stuff, but this Sherlock Holmes revival was just not on. Should've been an easy read, but ugh. Give "Solitude" a 2nd chance!


I never force myself when reading for fun--I did that too many times with assigned reading for school. I've given up on countless books, usually because I don't care about the characters or something about the narrative voice or dialogue seems forced or false. Sometimes I sort of like a book but don't feel as if I need to read it through to get the essence of it.

When I really like a book, I will finish it as quickly as possible, generally in 24 hours or less, unless it's unusually dense.


After hearing all the raves about "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," I actually bought the damn thing. (I usually get novels from the library, but there were about 45 holds on this title.) I couldn't make it through the first chapter. What a snooze -- or perhaps just a wretched translation.


I abandoned "Atonement." I usually muddle my way through, but could not get through that one.

I started (never beyond the first chapter) and stopped "Never Let Me Go" untold times. Finally finished it last week.

I just feel guilty, like I am letting down all 4 of my phenomenal high school English teachers, if I don't finish a book I start.


I wad in a classics phase for a while and I had to give up on As I Lay Dying. It was killing me. I did make it through Moby Dick though.


Yeah, I'm usually a slave to the Finish the Book rule (also burdened by the Clean Plate Club rule). But I did cast aside Susan Orlean's book of essays, The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup. I can take her essays in small doses, but a whole volume of them immediately lost its appeal.

Frume Sarah

I used to be devout adherent to the Finish the Book rule as well. I felt that if the author had invited me on the journey, I owed it to the author to stay on til the end.

At some point (maybe 5 years ago??), I finally realized that there are just so many damn books in the world. I'm never going to read them all. Not only that, there are so many titles that I would really enjoy. Slaving away just to say that I completed a book is a waste of my time and prevents me from getting on to a book that has more potential for me.

"Eat, Pray, and Love"

The whole world went ape-shit over this one. I found the author self-absorbed and narcissistic. And could not finish it.


I have a 100-page rule. Belonging to a book group of non-like-minded souls forced me to institute it, after slogging my way, with ever-mounting irritation, through 400 pages of *Youth In Revolt*. That said, I regret that I have never been able to finish *Midnight's Children*. I wish I could, but I just sputter to a stop.


I have a 100 page rule too, after I finally learned I didn't have to finish every book I picked up unless it was assigned reading. Lately I've been lucky, I haven't given up on a book recently. I do remember reading the original Bourne trilogy last winter and wondering why I had bothered when I was done.


One Hundred Years of Solitude is my husband's favorite book, but I couldn't get through it myself. I've always felt like such a loser about that. Now I feel so validated and vindicated! Thank you!!!!

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