Saturday, October 17, 2015

Giving up on books

I love Goodreads and think it's a great site for all manner of things related to books. I enjoy being able to keep track of what I read (previously I just made a list of titles for each year, which was okay, but didn't have any detail), but I find one aspect of the 'My Books' section a bit frustrating.

I've always been one of those people who doesn't finish every book he starts, but Goodreads doesn't seem to like this idea much. You almost get the feeling you should finish everything you begin. Well, sorry, Goodreads, I just can't. Some books get to the point where they're either overtaken by something more interesting, or where I've got the general idea and find the author's just repeating him/herself, or where they just fail to keep on grabbing me. This can happen early in the book, or late, but there comes a time with some books when finishing them is just wasted effort for me.

This can include 'classic' novels like le Carre's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, which, in spite of its stylish writing, just failed on a storytelling level for me. Not just confusing, but almost opaque. I got about halfway through it before giving up.

So what do I do with books like that? You can make up your own category: Books I Failed to Finish if you want, but they'll still show up as books that aren't done with. (In fact I do have two categories along these lines: one's called 'Put aside for the time being'  and the other is 'Giving up on'. 

But the books in these can't officially be put in the 'Read' category. Well, it looks as though I'm going to have to pretend I've finished them, and put a note (mostly for my own benefit) in the review section to say that I couldn't get any further with a book. And why.

I've started doing that, but feel as though I'm being sneaky and that Goodreads will catch up with me soon, and give me a slap on the hand.

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