I may be a massive bookworm, but there are some books that even I couldn’t get through. There’s no book too long, but there can be a book too tedious.
Marking a book as DNF, or did not finish, is almost like admitting defeat. There can be so many reasons why you would abandon a book halfway through – maybe you couldn’t get into the story, or perhaps it was just too long for your concentration to hold at the time.
Whatever reason, these are some of the books I’ve closed the cover on long before the final page. If I can’t get into it after three reading attempts, our relationship comes to an end.
Us by David Nicholls
I wasn’t the only one who hit a brick wall with this one – a friend of mine and I have both moaned about our issues with this one.
I’ve previously struggled with a David Nicholls’ books (it took me three attempts to finish One Day) but with this one, there was just no dice. A heartwarming story of a family off on a last ditch “save our marriage” holiday should have sucked me in from the start, but there just wasn’t anything here that excited me.
Us took the customary three strikes for me, and I don’t think it’s one I’ll ever be able to finish.
The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
I got a copy of this earlier this year, and I’d heard it was one of the great classics of the 20th century. I read it during commutes and lunch breaks while working in Bristol, and no matter how much I tried I just couldn’t get into it.
I didn’t like anything about the book. The characters seemed really one dimensional and superficial, and I couldn’t connect with anything in their world. I may try again another time, but for now it’s one I can’t finish.
50 Shades of Grey by EL James
I don’t think I even need to explain why.
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
This one isn’t so much because I didn’t like it, but down to circumstances.
I started reading the Divergent series last March, and bought all three of the books to get me through. Once my essays were handed in, I started reading them, and getting through them quickly.
I left a copy of Insurgent, the second book in the series, on a bus back from Dublin one night. Not only did I lose a book, but I also said goodbye to my favourite James Joyce bookmark.
I haven’t gone back to reading the book since, but who knows when I’ll pick up the second book and try again.
Wicked by Gregory Maguire
I read this book long before I saw the musical, but I did know somewhat what the plot was. The book, however, was different to the musical’s plot, and a lot darker. It was quite a shock to read, and I couldn’t take the image of the plot away from that of the musical.
Stop the Train by Geraldine McCaughren
This was one of the books I brought with me to Australia. I planned to read it over the 13 hour flight to Singapore, but a bout of travel sickness made me a little too weak to finish the book. I put it to the bottom of the suitcase when we landed in Singapore to have when I felt a little better, and I never picked it up again.
The story is very similar to The Railway Children, which is a wonderful story, so I may get into it again some day.