So, Tuesday I came across a piece about how Orlando Bloom recently confessed to never having read THE LORD OF THE RINGS (or at least not all the way through). This did not surprise me much, but I was intrigued by a link to a list of books that people begin but never finish. Not sure of their methodology, but looking through it I realize my reading habits must be v. different from those of most folks (or at least most folks who engaged in this survey). Of the books they list, I've read about half: forty-five out of a hundred. In addition, I've started, but not finished, six others. That is, the vast majority of the ones I've not read are ones I've never even started (and, to be honest, in most cases have no particular interest in reading). I do abandon a fair number of books, but as a rule of thumb if I make it through the first twenty or thirty pages, I tend to read them all the way through. I think one reason I tend to finish books, once I begin them, is my Reading List (most recent entry, #II.3124: WATSON IS NOT AN IDIOT by Eddy Webb ). I don't get to add a book to the list unless I read it all the way through, so it's an incentive to keep going in some cases where I might otherwise flag (cf. my current struggles with SARTOR RESARTUS). Oddly enough, in recent years I've found that books I'd bogged down on when reading them in print (e.g., Strange and Norell) I've been able to finish by switching to the unabridged audiobook version.
Here's the list.
And here are the six books out of their hundred that I've started and not finished:
--LOLITA (which I intend to go back and finish; just got to be too much for me and I had to take a break)
--FINNEGANS WAKE, of course.
--Dan Brown's THE DA VINCI CODE, where I faltered after just a few pages (I have seen the movie, but of course that doesn't count)
--Kafka's THE TRIAL (I've found I much prefer Kafka's short fiction, all of which I've read, to his longer pieces)
--THE MISTS OF AVALON (I tried, and failed, to read this three times and finally admitted defeat on the fourth)
--WICKED (the only good argument I've ever come across against works passing into the public domain. Let Maguire write stories about his own characters and leave Baum's stuff alone)