I had a fair number of topics I could rant, scream, or enter an alternate but sane reality with today, so I decided the best thing was to go back to an old favourite, aiming for the last Friday of the month each month with it.
Welcome back to the Book Blogger Hop which asks a question to be answered over every weekend and linked back to the wonderful Coffee Addicted Writer’s site. I’d like to thank Cheryl Mahoney for reminding me of it earlier in the month.
Today’s question is: How many books have you started, but just couldn’t finish?
As you know, it’s a topic I’ve addressed every now and then – and last year Bruce Gargoyle argued about ‘unfinished’ being a possible starting point for all reviewers, since if it wasn’t good enough to finish, should we review it or give it star ratings at all? I have come round to a similar view – because I wouldn’t give something a really low rating, since there is always something to pull out of it – it just doesn’t meet my criteria for ‘like’, and ‘it’s okay’ looks pretty poor when translated to stars.
So I now have an ‘Abandoned’ shelf on Goodreads, which is for books I don’t want to continue reading and do not intend to pick up again when I’m feeling more in the mood for them. You may wonder about that – well, Sarah Waters’ The Paying Guests is back on my ‘to read’ list, although I’ve read about a third of it. I may or may not come back to it another time. I feel I ought to read it, since I was fascinated by the author’s talk and reading from it – but there were things I didn’t really want to read about, so I stopped.
On the other hand I have ten books on my ‘abandoned’ list which I never intend to go anywhere near again. Interestingly, six of those are from my bookclub, which means they are all traditionally published and ‘popular’ books.
This is over three years – so not a huge number, especially given I listed over 170 books read (completed) in that period (and these would mostly not be included in that total).
Does these mean my reviews are meaningless, or just that I have a different ‘popular’ taste from those who set the standards for published books in this country?
Well, the answer’s self-evident really.
7 thoughts on “Book Blogger Hop – Unfinished business?”
I usually finish all the books I read. If I don’t it was because I set it down, got distracted and months later didn’t feel like rereading to catch up. Lately, I have put down some books because the story didn’t click with me and have a DNF (sadface) shelf on Goodreads.
I think Rebecca’s definition of ‘got distracted’ (see below) probably applies… it wasn’t that difficult to be distracted, and it wasn’t interesting enough to pick up again. Then again, one of my books of 2016 nearly suffered that fate!
I have a DNF shelf, a “try again later” shelf, and an “on hold for the moment shelf”. Obviously, the chance of me going back to any of the books on either of the latter two shelves is rather slim.
Yeah, my ‘try again later’ go back on my ‘to-read’ shelf… which means at the end of it. I’ve added 30 books to it this month :O It’s a very long way to the back of that list.
I think I started a shelf for “I got distracted,” which I’m more willing to use than the rather condemnatory DNF. But the fact is, if I got distracted and didn’t get back to a book before I had to take it back to the library, odds are it just wasn’t clicking with me. That may simply mean that the first 2 chapters didn’t make me care enough.
I wrote a post last year on a few books I didn’t finish, with what I felt were reasons worth sharing with my readers (i.e., something more compelling than “Meh. It wasn’t my thing”).
Yeah – I think it’s good to let the reasons out sometimes, as long as it doesn’t land you in trouble.
I don’t want to get in trouble and I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I don’t think the big names are too vulnerable to that, so I was more willing to call a famous author out by name 🙂
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