Booking Through Thursday: Read With Abandon?

Booking Through Thursday

Today’s suggestion is from Cereal Box Reader
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?

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

I don't like to abandon books. Occasionally one will suffer from neglect though. If I don't finish it, I truly believe I'll come back to it someday. So, they end up on the shelf with a crumpled bookmark sticking out of the top, gathering dust and looking oh so sad. Sometimes I pick them up again but mostly I think, "Some other day." My neglected books include:
  • The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James: I found out later after reading "The Wings of a Dove" why I gave up on it. I don't like James.
  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins: I have no idea why I put this one back. I have to pick it up soon.
  • Villette by Charlotte Bronte: I don't think I was in the mood for it at the time.
  • The Memoirs of Cleopatra by Margaret George: I gave up after Ceasar died. It really didn't grab me.

I can't think of any I've abandoned completely. Luckily, I haven't found one that bad yet.


  1. Henry James is difficult but can be rewarding, try The Europeans - its very short compared to most of his books!

    I remember enjoying The Woman in White. I think I was disappointed with Villette

  2. When you go back to The Woman in White, you may come to love it as much as I do. There's nothing like a really strong woman character in the midst of scheming and greedy men to liven up a story - and it's a damn good story!

  3. John M. at The Book Mine Set is "booking through Thursday" this week, and I responded over there. I agreed with him about Thomas Hardy (unfinishable), and I agree with you about Henry James. But Wilkie Collins is great, both "The Woman in White" and "The Moonstone."

    I recently finished (after an earlier abandonment) Anne Brontë's "Agnes Grey." It felt good to push on to the end, and I rather enjoyed it. But I'm not sure I have the patience for another go at "A Portrait of a Lady."

  4. I liked Portrait of a Lady and Villette very much, and The Woman in Whire persuaded me to read some more Collins. Don't know the other one. I like the way you don't give up on books, but I'm afraid I do!

  5. Woman in White didn't do much for me. Happy BTT.

  6. I recently bought The Woman in White at dirt cheap price. I think I will have a go at it. Villete never interested me.

  7. Boo on Henry James!! You know my feelings there.

    I think that might actually be the reason I didn't like John Berendt's City of Falling Angels. He spent a lot of time talking about Henry James in Venice...and what a wonderful writer he was!

  8. I have to agree about Cleopatra. I was really sad; I'd been looking forward to it and expecting a lot.

  9. Villete is one I wasn't able to get far into either, but someday I hope to try again. I don't often abandon books all together or even to hold over for another time, but it's happened. Once this year so far.

  10. I love the top two, but as others have said Henry James does take work.

    I think I saw the BBC adaptation of The Woman in White (not the most recent one but a longer earlier version) before I read the book so that may have helped. Strange that as I usually try to read a book first before I see an adaptation. anyway it is a book I have re-read and still enjoy so I hope you do get a chance to revisit.


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