Thursday, June 9, 2011
A Short Meme on Abandoned Books
While reading Book Lust by Nancy Pearl, I came across a part where she talks about abandoned books:
"..your mood has a lot to do with whether or not you will like a book. I always leave open the option of going back to a book that I haven't liked (especially if someone I respect has recommended it to me) sometime later. I've begun many books, put them down unfinished, then returned a month or two, or years, later and ended up loving them. This happened with Mathew Kneale's English Passengers, John Crowley's Little Big, and Andrea Barrett's The Voyage of the Narwhal."
I'm curious about everyone's experiences with abandoned books so I've made up this short meme. Please answer it below in the comment section or better yet, post about it in your blogs and leave a link.
1. What would cause you to stop reading a book ?
If a book fails to captivate me in roughly 20 to 50 pages (sometimes even just the first few paragraphs) then I have no qualms to put it aside because life is short and there are too many wonderful books in the world.
2. Name a book or books you've abandoned in the past that you ended up loving later on.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. I abandoned it last year after just a few pages but I recently picked it up again. It's just perfect.
3. Name a book you've abandoned in the past that you hope to finish someday.
For me, this has got to be Justine by Lawrence Durrell, the first book of the Alexandria Quartet. Over the years, I've picked it up twice and both times abandoned it after just a few pages. Somehow I know if I could just get through the difficult beginning, I may end up liking this book and maybe even loving it. It seems to have everything that will captivate me - lush prose, an exotic setting and unrequited love. In fact if any of you have read this then please let me know your thoughts. I need someone to convince me to finally read this.
On a side note - next year, Virago is releasing Joanna Hodgkin's Amateurs in Eden, a biography of Lawrence and Nancy Durrell and their lives in Paris and Corfu in the 1930s. Henry Miller and Anais Nin appear in the book as well. The initial buzz is that it's utterly fantastic. I definitely plan to read that even if I never read Justine.
Do let me know if you join this meme. I'm looking forward to reading your answers.