I would enjoy reading a meme about people’s abandoned books. The books that you start but don’t finish say as much about you as the ones you actually read, sometimes because of the books themselves or because of the circumstances that prevent you from finishing. So…what books have you abandoned and why?
I don’t like to abandon books once I’ve started. It seems like giving up and letting the book defeat me, but I have a few times. Once was in college. I was taking a class, and we were assigned Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis to read. I couldn’t do it. About halfway through, I started to go cross-eyed every time I picked up the book and started reading. It’s probably the driest fiction I’ve ever read. And for me to say it was dry means something. I suppose that’s the danger of having an emotionally detached doctor as a protagonist. Fortunately, we weren’t being tested on the book. It was just for a discussion, and I bluffed my way through.
Another was Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco. The prose was just too dense. The book had been called the “thinking person’s Da Vinci Code” Well, the characters think, and think, and think some more, and then get drunk and talk about what they’ve been thinking, and then they think about what they said. So in that sense, yes. Somewhere, there’s a happy medium between those two books.
My wife wins the prize though. She stopped reading The Da Vinci Code with thirty pages left until the end. Granted, we were both in law school, and the school year started and working full-time and going to school at night doesn’t leave much time for leisure activities, but still….