Confessions of an Addict 22: Preserved Reads

So question: Do you give a book an expiry date? As if you borrowed it from the library, and they gave you a time when you’re supposed to give it back? Do you abide by a certain rule that when a book has been sitting unread by your nightstand for an undetermined amount of time, you shelve it back for future read?

Right now, I have two books sitting prettily on my current reads: Che Guevarra: A Revolutionary Life by Jon Lee Anderson and Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge. The first book has been sitting there since last year (October 17, 2013). While Cruel Beauty and I just can’t move on from where we stalled. I’ve yet to pick it back up since I put it there a over a month ago, and have read 18 books since then.

The thing is, I already know that reading a biography novel would take a bit of time, and with Che being as huge as he is (over 800 pages), I already anticipated that it’s going to be even more challenging. This is my first attempt at reading a non-fiction (I’ve read and finished one since then). I’m sad to say I haven’t gotten past page 5.

I really would like to finish this book sometime in this century. He’s a political and historical figure that has intrigued me since I’ve heard of him many years ago. The text is such a huge stumbling block for me as well (teeny, tiny texts).

Cruel Beauty is a book that I could’ve read within days of picking it up, but my problem is, I just couldn’t find the motivation to start over again. I’ve been told that I needed to be patient; that the book will show its greatness if I’d just keep reading. But I’m bored, people. It’s a boring book. At this point, I’ve only read about 16 pages of it. While I more than likely read Che, Cruel Beauty is another matter entirely. I just don’t think I have the time to wait for this book to blossom – so to speak.

I hate to quit on books, but seeing them on my night table – unread, makes me feel so guilty.

So how long do you let a book ferment in your currently-reading shelf?Β 

  • Aww, I'm sorry to hear you don't feel like continuing with Cruel Beauty. I've heard so many great things about it, but I can't say much about it because I haven't read it yet (though I hope to read soon). There's this book called “A Really Awesome Mess” that I couldn't bring myself to finish after reading almost half the book and I told myself that I would come back to it later on… I think that day will never come. I don't feel like finishing it, and since I don't remember much about it anymore, I certainly don't want to start it over again. It's my first DNF book.

  • I've started quitting more these days, Joy. I'd say if you like the idea of a particular book it doesn't mean that you have to push yourself to read it when the writing doesn't work for you at all. Save yourself the aggro πŸ™‚

  • I've had plenty of books that I've put down and then not felt like going back to read this year. I don't typically experience guilt because I'm used to reading shitty books lately. My rule is that if the first 20% of the book doesn't grab my attention, I abandon it.
    I'm sorry to hear about Cruel Beauty. As much as everyone raved about it, I thought it was rather mediocre. I mean it wasn't awful, but it wasn't that special either, so I can see why you were bored with it.

  • Huh, that's a good question and one I don't really have a specific answer for, I guess. It kind of depends on the book. I have my copy of Partials sitting next to me, which I might have read 50 pages of and it wasn't what I was in the mood for at the time, but I think I'll pick it up again soon. But… Maybe not? It's only been a few days, though. I think if it's been there for a month I'd likely put it back and hope it'll strike my fancy another day.

    I did actually love Cruel Beauty though, if any encouragement helps! It's true that it's a slow start, though.

  • I confess I don't take books for the library so I don't have the same problem but I have books for years in my TBR pile.

  • I have Beautiful Creatures sitting on my currently read for 10 months (wow I almost celebrate the anniversarry). I think I have the same feeling like you, once I leave a book and start another one, it needs more encouragement to restart unfinished one. Now I feel bad for leaving a book for almost a year πŸ™

  • This kind of reminds me of what is going on with me right now too, I'm stuck with a few books and can't bring myself to just pick them up and finish them. I'm thinking about dropping them and moving on to better things.

  • I feel so bad for Cruel Beauty, but I was bored in the first few chapters, too. I don't really give up on books on my tbr pile, they can stew there for as long until I decide to pick it up again. But usually, I pick up a book, if the first chapter is good, I continue on. I've had a problem with Vampire Academy, though, I just couldn't go through with it and I've restarted twice.

  • Do NOT give up on Cruel Beauty, Joy! I came very close to DNFing it in the beginning, but I promise it gets better. Once she gets to the castle, it is a whole other ballgame. You're almost there. You can do it!

    I don't know about your question though … I mean, I start a book and intend to finish it. I push through or give up completely. I don't keep physical books around much anymore, so it's easier put a book off and forget about it when it's on an e-reader. But there are a couple of books that I have set a goal for; I plan on reading them before the year is over.

  • Aw, I love this post. You should never feel guilty! Not ever. <3 I.. don't really have a shelf with all my to-read books, as that would take forever to reshelve, hih πŸ˜€ But yeah. I do have TONS of books to read. Books I have been meaning to read next for years. Agh. I just can't get myself to read the books, as I fear that I will not enjoy them, and then I don't want to read them anymore :p Sigh. But I will try. Probably. At a later time. I hope πŸ˜€ Thank you for sharing Joy. <3

  • I wouldn't feel too bad about Cruel Beauty, I wasn't a huge fan of it myself. I think I skimmed a lot of it actually and to be honest, I only really did that because I got a copy from the publisher.

    I do reshelf books if I'm not feeling it. I have an “on hold” shelf on goodreads for them. There was something about these books that I enjoyed and wanted to keep reading it, but the timing just felt wrong. Definitely one of those “It's not the book, it's me” type things lol

    Andrea @ Bookish

  • If I feel like I won't pick it back within a few day I know I won't be able to finish it. So I just shelve it for ever. I used to feel bad about not finishing books but not anymore.

  • Hmmm, that's a tough one for me to answer. I *usually* try to muddle through at least to about 40% and then make a decision on whether or not I want to finish and see what happens. I did start Insignia a few months ago and the reviews for it are great but I was confused and bored and set it aside. I'd like to pick it back up but I keep putting it off because, I don't know. No ambition right now.Sometimes when a book is slow to start it is hard for me because I read so slow as it is. Making it to that point where things turn around can be tough. *sigh*

  • Oh no, I'm sad that Cruel Beauty didn't quite resonate with you because I loved it! I'm usually pretty quick with reshelving a book if I realise it's not what I feel like at the time. But books that I use as a fall back while in between books stay on there for a few weeks (such as The Diviners). But if I put it away and decide not to read it, it's not going to happen then I reshelve it for later.