How willing are you to put them aside?
Are you tenacious? Do you give a faltering book a reprieve, and keep turning pages?
Do you toss it on the coffee table and see if perhaps another day, it might light your fire? Or, skipping that phase, do you just toss it in the fireplace?
How many chances do you give a book?
Regarding consummation, how many boring and uninteresting pages or chapters will you endure before you annul your vows and open the covers of another?
Do you stick with the relationship, defying all others until the last page is turned? ‘Til death doth us part?
All of those questions interest me.
My own answer would be that generally, I am very tenacious, and rarely abandon a book. Rarely set it aside.
I give the thing every benefit of the doubt.
Early on in the relationship, I will even begin to blame myself if something seems uninteresting.
Hmmmm… perhaps I am not giving this author room to not be me.
Maybe this thing is worth…. worth sticking to!
Let me turn another page, and see what is there.
I was surfing through blogs a few evenings ago and landed upon an excellent book-blog called Dog Ear Diary.
Reading through several of Jeane’s reviews, I noticed that she grants each book a star-rating, one to five. But what was interesting to me is that many times, instead of a rating, she will write “Aban’doned” instead.
Yet, there are still comments about the book, and a reason or two may be given as to why the book was turfed or otherwise left unfinished.
The Abondonment Factor© probably has a lot to do with the level of expectation with which one approaches one’s readings. That, and outright boredom with a book, I guess. Or time itself, as in, no time to waste on a bad read!
For me, I tend to notice that I will far more often abandon a non-fiction book, than a novel. And this is usually because my interest in the topic wanes as I read.
But to abandon either, for me, is rare, as I said.
So rare, in fact, that I would estimate that for every one hundred books I begin, I completely finish [unskimmed] over ninety of them. I am probably functioning somewhere between a 5 and 10% Abandonment Rate.
One book I regret abandoning is Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago.
Years ago now, I just could not quite finish it, and this haunts me.
My bookmark is still lodged in the thing, at page 340. On the back burner of my mind, there is this…. this pot of Gulag, always simmering away!
But, on the front burners, ye Gods!
On the front burners a stack of things are either in progress, or pushing each other out of line, vying for my affections. Asking… begging for me to believe in them.
Having won betrothal, longing for consummation.