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“Unread”

btt buttonIs there a book that you wish you could “unread”? One that you disliked so thoroughly you wish you could just forget that you ever read it?

I usually finish a book, or at least trying to skim through through it if it doesn’t live up to my expectation. To unread it would be more like going back in time and not to begin the book. I know many of you have a page limit with which to gauge whether you’ll give up on a book or to continue. Even I’m aware that life is too short for bad books, I tend to read from cover-to-cover. I would unread The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana by Umberto Eco, which didn’t live up to the literary thriller that The Name of the Rose has offered. Critics and bloggers raved about White Teeth by Zadie Smith but I really trudged through the narrative and would have be happier to put it aside for other books. Perfume by Patrick Suskind is another one I can do without.

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25 Responses

  1. I mentioned White Teeth in my answer, too! I only finish books I’m not enjoying if they’re for my book club.

  2. And so many swear by Zadie Smith. I am yet to pick her up although my regular bookstore saleman tries to sell it to me everytime I visit!

    Booking through Unread

  3. I don’t have a hard set page limit that determines whether I’ll stick with a book or not, but I have begun to wrap my head around not reading books that I am not enjoying in some capacity (sometimes a book is hard, but I can see that it has a lot of merit, in which case I will stick it out). So rather than saying that I wished I hadn’t read certain books, I think there are some books that I wish I hadn’t stuck with until the bitter end, because they really didn’t live up to my expectations & I struggled with them the whole time. “A Partisan’s Daughter” by Louis DeBernieres is probably my most loathed read of recent memory… it was so shallow that it did absolutely nothing to enrich my life in any way. Thank goodness it was short!

  4. I found White Teeth tedious too. So much so that I actually did put it down for something more interesting. I felt a little bad about it, especially since (I thought) so many other people liked it, but there you go.

    I’ve found that I usually don’t finish books I’m not enjoying, even if its a conscious decision or not.

    On another note: You’re reading Woman in White! Yay! I hope you’re enjoying it. 🙂

  5. I have tried to read White Teeth a few times but I have never made it past the first chapter. Catch 22 and Confederacy of Dunces are two that I could definitely do without.

  6. I’m with you on White Teeth. Perfume, while not on my favorites list stays in the Read column for me.

    I used to have a “Page 50” limit, which I think is reasonable. A book really should have your attention by page 50. Over the years the limit has grown lower and lower.

  7. I’d planned to get to White Teeth at some point. Maybe I’ll need to do some more research.

  8. I’ve seen White Teeth mentioned more than once now…

  9. I don’t give a specific page number to get into the book but if I have read several chapter and am still not feeling it, time to move on. I have not read any of the books you listed.

  10. Even the books that leave me incredulous, for whatever reason, are not ever a total waste. I can’t say that my heart was singing when I read Wuthering Heights, but I think that most books have some redeemable qualities (sometimes you have to look hard!), I rarely shelve a book midstream.

  11. In the past I always finished a book I started, but in recent years as my free time has decreased (darn those children), I have decided that there are too many good books out there for me to waste what limited reading time I have on something that isn’t appealing to me.

    I chose Patrick White’s The Twyborn Affair for my BTT.

  12. I don’t like Perfume too….but it didn’t make it into my book review which mean it was still okay…not interesting and not bad either. I find Perfume a bit boring but at least I can finish it

  13. Thanks for highlighting the ones that you would unread…I’m staying away from those for sure 🙂

  14. I haven’t read any of the books you listed, but there were a few occasions I almost picked up Perfume. I guess I’ll stick to my plan, LOL.

  15. Have not attempted any of these. Have read mixed reviews about White Teeth.

  16. I haven’t read any of those.

  17. I loved White Teeth, finding it funny, unexpected and touching. I hope people who have considered reading it do so and decide for themselves!

    I find Umberto Eco a bit tedious though, so can relate to your disappointment re The Mysterious Flame.

  18. I couldn’t stand White Teeth either but I have to say that I did enjoy Perfume. Happy BTT!

  19. White Teeth has come up quite a few times in this weeks BTT and I was really wanting to read it. I’ll be a bit careful now 🙂

  20. My pick — Cold Mountain

  21. Another person who couldn’t get into White Teeth. Sometimes I think if our expectations are higher, it’s harder to like a book. Today I reviewed a mystery novel that I found, in the end, to be a waste of my time, Faye Kellerman’s new The Mercedes Coffin. I’d like the time I spent reading it back, please!

  22. Yep, White Teeth was a total drag. Isn’t it funny that so many of us reading peons didn’t like it, and yet the critics raved about it? THEY should listen to US!

  23. If you could just wipe away the time spent reading, then you wouldn’t know how bad the book was, so you’d probably read it again, and again… Better to know for certain that it’s rubbish.

  24. Perfume? Cold Mountain? I guess I am in the wrong blog.

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