Sorry Book, It’s Over…

by limebirdwriters

I’ve read a lot of books in my time, and it’s very rare that I will put one down and stop reading. I’m a big believer in giving books a chance and slugging on, even if I read them for a bit, put them down and then come back to them. I normally give a book around a chapter or so to really grip me, but if I can feel the potential, I’ll give it a little longer. So, it has to be pretty bad for me to actually put it down for good, but what makes this happen?

I never really like speaking badly of a book and this is because as a writer myself, I know how bloomin hard it is to write one! You dedicate so much of your time into piecing it together, so it’s never nice to read that someone hasn’t enjoyed it. So with this is mind, I’m going to try my best to look at this from the point of view of a reader instead of a writer.

One of the main books/series that I couldn’t read were the Stieg Larsson books. I know people are going to shout at me and I’m ready for that, but I just couldn’t read them, at all. I gave ‘Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’ about 3 tries and I just couldn’t get into it. All the rest of my family have read all of the books and rave about how good they are and tell me to persist, but every time I had to put it down as it gave me a brain ache. They all admit that it’s hard to get into but it’s worth it, but I don’t want to spend a quarter of the book wanting to gauge my eyes out, for it to get better.


I don’t whether it’s because it was originally written in Swedish and doesn’t translate as well, but something just didn’t fit and I had to give up. I just found myself so confused as to what was happening and I’m sad to say that I haven’t looked back.

Another book that I felt this with was ‘The Woman in White’ by Wilkie Collins. This one was even worse, because I had to read it for my degree, so I wasn’t allowed to put it down. It was painful, in the metaphorical and physical sense, because it’s near enough 1 million pages long and weighs around 5 stone. So, carrying that around, trying to force the words into my brain wasn’t an experience I’d like to repeat. I eventually finished it and I honestly couldn’t tell you what it’s about. All I remember was that there was so much narrative I couldn’t breathe and the words were clunky. (sorry Collins’ fans!) So, this is definitely one that I would have stopped reading if I had a choice.

Woman In White

However, it isn’t always a case that I will leave a book for good once I’ve abandoned it. One book that I absolutely hated for around half of the book, but then came back to it, read it again and liked was ‘The Host’ by Stephenie Meyer.

OK, ok, before you Twilight haters jump on me, let me explain. I bought ‘The Host’ out of intrigue mainly as I ermm.. enjoyed the Twilight books. Yeah I said it! I’m the first to admit that they aren’t particularly well written, but I got well and truly sucked into the lives of the characters. I’m not like those crazy Twi-hard fans..  I only bring out my giant Edward cut out on the weekends. Also, I’ve only asked my other half to cover me in glitter so I could sparkle like a vampire twice, so that’s not bad right?

The Host

Anyway, I digress. So, I liked Twilight and thought I would give ‘The Host’ a chance and I well and truly hated it. I couldn’t get into it and really struggled and found myself disappointed, so I gave up and put it back up on my book shelf.  A while later, I was perusing for a book to read and I saw it, looking all lonely on my shelf. So, I picked it back up, dusted it off and for some reason decided to give it a go. I’m glad I did, because I found myself sucked straight into it and actually really enjoyed it. So, who knows, maybe I should do that with the Larsson books? Hmm maybe not though…

So, what books have you not been able to finish and what makes you put a book down?

32 Comments to “Sorry Book, It’s Over…”

  1. You can’t see it but I’ve started the slow clap in your honor 🙂
    Of all the readers I know I was the only one who couldn’t get into Stieg Larsson’s trilogy. I honestly like the 1st book but just barely finished the second & have no interest in the third. Nice to know there is someone else out there like me!!

    • Hello and thanks for commenting!

      Haha! I’m enjoying the slow clap in my honour! Yes, i’m definitely with you, but I’m impressed you managed to claw your way through the first book but didn’t enjoy the second or third. My friends and family have said that they couldn’t put them down! I just don’t get it…

  2. Had to read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein for my degree and I wanted to cry before I was a quarter of the way through. It’s one of the hardest books I’ve ever strugged to finish. It may be a so called classic and may have spawned dozens of films but I found it tedious in the extreme. I have just put down a book that I am half way through because I just cannot get into it. I don’t want to name it because it is a modern “chick lit” novel and I don’t want to put anyone off trying it because I know many people have enjoyed it. It’s just not “clicking” with me, which is a shame. There is an author who is extremely popular and I have tried to read three of her books now and not managed to finish one of them. The female protagonist is always so perfect, so knowledgeable and so sensible that I can’t warm to her at all, but the author seems to be lovely and again, is very widely read so I’m not naming her. Would it be sacrilege to admit that I also found Heart of Darkness impossible to read and therefore didn’t, choosing to miss it out of my degree set list!

    • Hi Sharon,

      I have to admit I’ve never actually read Frankenstein the whole way through! Eep.. I know that feeling about wanting to cry as that’s exactly how I felt about The Woman In White! Which University was this for? I also had to read Heart of Darkness for my degree and I completely agree, I didn’t particularly care for that either!

      Ohh no please tell us! I’m interested to know who you’re talking about! (If you don’t want to publicly, please DM me or NaNo mail me! Haha)

      I don’t think it’s ever sacrilege to admit you don’t like a book. I hate it when people say “Oh god, you can’t not like that!!” just because so many others love it. It is very strange though when you pick up a book that is so so popular and you’re sitting there wondering what all the fuss is all about!

  3. ah!!! i tried “the girl with the dragon tattoo” because *everyone* was raving about it and gave up. i am so glad to hear i am not the only one!
    dare i pick up “the host?!”

    • Hello!

      Yes, I did the same but I just couldn’t do it. Like I mentioned in the post, the people who recommended it told me to stick at it and that it would get better. I just couldn’t though, it was unbearable!

      Well, like I said it did take me a while to get in to the first time (but this could have been simply down to timing and environment!). It’s very sci-fi themed and all about an alien race taking over Earth. So, they take over the bodies and the book is all about one alien’s predicament with a human body (‘host’) that is rejecting the takeover. I probably haven’t sold it particularly well, but I liked it. A warning though, it’s quite long!

  4. I recently spent eight hours in a car, traveling with my wife, who loves to read Stieg Larsson. The bad part was that she had one of the books on audio and thought I would enjoy listening to it, too.

    There were no cliffs, so we are both still safe. Wine helped, later.

    I doubt I will pick up any of the Larson trilogy. It is written in a different manner than I like to read. You could be on the mark with the translation problem.

    Maybe I should learn Swedish.

  5. Come on Beth, sort it out! It’s all about DETERMINATION! I do recall one particularly harrowing episode in the last few years where I spent days literally slaving my way through Origin of Species and the Interpretation of Dreams *word for word* for uni, only to find I was the only person to have bothered. At least I can say I did it though!

  6. I gave Stieg Larsson a go, first i began with the book. Had no joy there gave it up at about chapter four. A few weeks later I thought I would buy an audio book on my iPhone and Stieg Larsson The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo won me over for about four chapters again, maybe more but in the end i pushed the stop button. Keep in mind I have completed The Origin of spices, a bunch of lectures some investing many not so. On the plus side I have found that many books keep me quite interested. and I like the Twilight books and Harry Potter all Stephen King and many other main stream books. another book i had a problem with was Swim suit by James Patterson. Starts with a punch then just drops out’ I plan to finish it but never get past the finger stroll over the spine of the book. My finger just keeps on walking.

    • Hi Steven,

      I’m glad to hear another person has struggled with these books! It’s nice to know I’m not alone in my difficulty with them. Did you find the audio book a bit easier to listen to or was it just as boring?

      Ohh, I also like Twilight, HP and Stephen King. 😀 I haven’t really read many James Patterson books – are the others good?

  7. I’m a huge Chuck Palahniuk fan (Fight Club, Choke….) and fancy him my favorite author. For some reason one of his newer books – Tell All – just couldn’t grab me. I’ve tried about three times and just can’t seem to get past the first two chapters. I still plan on getting thru this thing, sometime!

  8. My tolerance for books that don’t immediately ‘draw me in’ is diminishing rapidly. I have always read three to four novels a week and now my bedside table is littered with rejects. Some I go back to later, others never.
    This trend started when I began writing and has now escalated to an absurd level.
    My list of ‘unreadable’ books would be too long to discuss here but covers all genres and authors. I read “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” years ago and quite enjoyed it. I found the sequels hard going, though.
    Occasionally I pick one up that makes my soul soar. I neglect everything else and read it non-stop.
    And that, Limebirdbeth, is the sort of book I aspire to write.

    • I know, I feel the same. It still does disappoint me if I come across a book that does doesn’t do it for me, especially if I have high hopes. I’ve got a few rejects in my bookshelf too and I always look at them, hoping I’ll pick them up again one day.

      Yes, I would love to write a book like that! What book recently have you read which has been like that?

  9. Does anyone feel like crying when you come across a book you thought had promise, only to disappoint you terribly and leave you wondering how it got published in the first place?

    Or is it just me? 😀

  10. I have not tried the Larsen books, and I’ve been told that the Dragon Tattoo is wonderful. Now that I see it might not be so wonderful, I’m more curious to read it. Weird, I know. I just love books that drive readers onto opposite sides of the playing field. It was for that reason that I read the Twilight series…but I’ll spare you all from my opinion (on this post anyway).

    A book that was difficult for me to get into is Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. I was so psyched to read it because I went to Savannah, Georgia for a long weekend and absolutely, hands-down fell in love with the city. So, of course I had to read the book about all those places I toured! Couldn’t get past the first hundred pages. It sits in my bookcase, waiting for another go. I’m sure I’ll try it again, someday.

    • I definitely think you should give them a go! Let us know how you get on if you do. I can see why you do that though as it’s interesting to see what people find either so amazing or so annoying about them! Ohh I’m interested to know what you thought about the Twilight books!

      Oh no 😦 I haven’t read that book myself so can’t give you an opinion, but who knows, you might enjoy it second time around?

  11. I absolutely agree with you on The Host! I went through the same process with it – and it really did take half of that million page long book for me to finally start caring, and really wantign to know what happens. I think what that means in that book’s case – is that it could have used a good dose of tough-love editing.
    Right now I’m running into that same phenomena with World War Z. I figure I’ve got another year at least before the movie comes out to force myself back into it. I think it’s that the vignettes are too choppy, and don’t allow you the chance to get into the characters; or once you do, they’re off somewhere completely different.

    • Yeah I know! It’s a very odd book. I definitely agree with the editing needed. When it got half way I couldn’t stop reading it and really cared about the characters.

      Oh no! 😦 Keep on going with it, it might surprise you!

  12. Whew! I thought this was about Perfume at first. I was preparing to get slapped.

    I really enjoyed the “Girl” movies, but never read the books. Is it a sin to admit that on a website dedicated to writing? I’m sorry to hear they stink.

  13. Sorry, I read and liked the Larssen books. To each his own, right? Very seldom do I put a book down again after picking it up, but it does occasionally happen. It has to be really bad, heavily cliched right from the start to get me mad enough to put it down. A lot of times you can see that coming by reading the dust jacket, but not always!

    • Of course, I know a lot of people that did enjoy the Larssen books, they just weren’t for me. I might try them again at some point, but I just really couldn’t get into them!

      I know, that’s the same for me, I can normally judge if I’m going to like a book by the cover. However, that isn’t always the case! What’s your favourite book Neeks?

      • Ooh Beth, that’s hard. I read paperbacks like crazy, SO much that I don’t look at the titles anymore. The authors I keep going back to are Stephen King, always number one. After that, I would say definitely Dean Koontz…he’s also number one. Just, 1.1. Hehe. John Nance, excellent writer. There are so many. I haven’t even mentioned the classics. What about you Beth?
        I like Nicholas Sparks, he’s an awesome writer. But I hate how every single book he writes kills off a major character in the end that you’re always invested in. Usually one of the main characters. Aggravating enough that I won’t read his stuff anymore.

      • I know the feeling with the paperbacks. I read so many that they generally just get lost in them. Yeah I also like Stephen King, his writing is amazing. I have to say I haven’t read anything by Dean Koontz or John Nance. Maybe I should look into getting one of their books. Which ones would you recommend? I’ll go and look for some second hand ones off of Amazon to add to my reading list!

        Oh yeah… I hadn’t actually noticed that. You’re so right though. I just really like the connections to the characters but I can see how that could be frustrating!

        Hmm, my favourite authors… well I am a terrible sucker for supernatural books and I love the Sookie Stackhouse Novels by Charlaine Harris (which you might know better as ‘True Blood’). They just completely captivated me from the start and I loved reading them. I also quite like a bit of craziness in people like Chuck Palahniuk (author of Fight Club). I think pretty much I like supernatural/fantasy books but with a romance element!

  14. If I have to force myself to pick up a book and it feels like punishment to keep reading it, it’s not a good fit for me. I tried a Nicholas Sparks’ book, Bend in the Road, and really couldn’t connect with either of the main characters. I gave it a long prologue and 2 chapters, but I didn’t care about the outcome. At page 25, I put it down.

    • Hi Kourtney! Welcome to Limebird and thanks for commenting 🙂

      Yes, I definitely agree with that! Ah, I’m normally a fan of Sparks, but I have to say I haven’t read that one. (maybe I’ll give it a miss!) I’ve just finished his new one ‘Best Of Me’, which I quite enjoyed. I really like a lot of his work, have you tried any of his other books?

  15. I think one such book that disappointed me was Matilda by Roald Dahl. Actually i think it was the film that spoilt it for me. I kept waiting for the whizz-bang-pop of the movie but it never came.
    One i loved but didn’t think i would was The Guernsey Literacy and Potato Peel Pie Society (book group read). It started of a bit disjointed but came together about half way through and told this lovely heartfelt tale of the people and the German occupation during WWII. I would like it to have had a different ending for me it needed another chapter.

    • Hi Beverley,

      Thank you for your comment! Well, I was quite lucky to have read Matilda before I saw the book, so I enjoyed both. I do think it can ruin it sometimes if you watch the film first. Actually saying that, I have had it where I see a film adaptation of a book and also find myself sorely disappointed!

      Ohh ok, I haven’t heard of that before. I might have to look up all of these recommendations! 🙂 Do you think it’s worth joining a book group?

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