One of the ways I got back into my love of reading, was by finally telling myself that I didn’t have to finish a book I wasn’t enjoying. I know that seems obvious, but somehow I just felt like I had to finish everything I picked up. Which meant that I was probably holding on to one book for several months without moving on to anything else. Now, if I open a book that was recommended and find out that it’s not for me, I promptly return it to the library. I have so much more wonderful reading in my queue!
There are several reasons I might abandon a book:
- It’s not keeping my attention.
- It’s not my style.
- The timing is off. (I may pick it up sometime later.)
There are several books I’ve not finished (or even started, once they were in my hands):
Here is a list of the books that I most recently abandoned and why:
Work Clean: The life-changing power of mise-en-place to organize your life, work, and mind
by Dan Charnas (non-fiction) – DNF
Oh boy, do I love the concept of this book! In cooking, mise-en-place, French for put in place or, in the cooking world, everything in it’s place, is rule #1. It means to gather all of your ingredients and equipment and get everything ready and prepped before beginning. I think I could figure out how to put this to use in real life. However, just opening this book overwhelmed me! All of the theory behind it and charts in this 300-page book with small print. No, thank you.
Bad Dogs Have More Fun: Selected Writings on Family, Animals, and Life from The Philadelphia Inquirer
by John Grogan (non-fiction) – DNF
The title of this book Bad Dogs Have More Fun is misleading, as is the cover. I thought it was a book on dogs written by John Grogan, the author of Marley and Me. However, I missed the little subtitle: Selected Writing on Family Animals, and Life from the Philadelphia Inquirer. These are the reprinting of Grogan’s articles from the publication. Only about 1/3 of them are about dogs. The other articles aren’t connected to “bad dogs” in anyway. Still, some of those stories are still heart-warming. But, in the end, I just abandoned it.
Swell: A Girl’s Guide to the Good Life
by Cynthia Rowley, Ilene Rosenzweig (non-fiction) – DNF
Who the hell recommended this for me?! I don’t know why I ordered this from PaperbackSwap.com. The cover may look from 1955, but it was written in 1999. Still, this book is not for me. I was just turned off by it! Maybe I’ll return to it in the future, but reading how to take a frozen dish and dress it up to make it look like homemade for a dinner party… Those kinds of things just bugged me. It might be a right place, right time sort of thing and maybe I’ll get some other sort of tip out of something later in the book. But for now, blech! I have an extra copy if anyone wants it! 🙂
Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living
by Shauna Niequist (non-fiction) – DNF
I had this book on my library hold list for a long time. I couldn’t wait to read it. But I got stuck along the way. Yes, I could relate to Niequist’s impossible search for the end of the never-ending to-do list as well as many of her other challenges; although I will always state that it’s much harder as a parent, which I am not. This book is more a memoir than a how-to book. If you are in a place where you are frantic and caught up in the busy-ness of life and want to find a way to slow down, make peace and live life rather than just do it, this book might be fore you. I think I abandoned it about 1/3 of the way through because I understood her point and I’ve been working on it my own way. I’m still looking forward to Niequist’s book Bread and Wine, which another blogger once listed as her favorite book of the year.
Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck
by Thug Kitchen (cookbook) – DNF
I love this no-nonsense potty-mouth way of getting down to the nitty-gritty. Stop eating crap and start living healthfully. It’s not rocket science. I found this book because I followed a link to the blog one day. I read the book’s entire introduction and loved the concept… up until I realized this was a vegan cookbook. I have no problem with the vegan lifestyle. It’s just not for me. I’m sure I could have found a recipe or two that I’d like. I often take recipes from the paleo cookbooks and I’m not paleo either. But instead, I abandoned the cookbook completely, returning it so I could pick up some guidebooks for my next trip.
Lesson learned… Slow down! When finding recommended books on websites, read the synopses and decide if you really want it on your “to-read” list. You may be able to weed out more duds. However, there will always be those you’ll just abandon because it’s not the right time, you’re not in the right mood or it’s not keeping your attention.
And that’s okay.
What book(s) have you abandoned and why?
I never actually read Kon-mari, because I get that I don’t need so much stuff, I didn’t need her to tell me that.
“DNF” I am dying.
I like this post! Awhile ago I came to the same conclusion–if I’m not enjoying a book, why am I forcing myself to slog through it just to finish it?? Too many GOOD books out there to read!