Goodreads, the free website for book lovers, recently came out with a study on why readers put down a book instead of finishing it. The results were fascinating and can give writers some good insights into what goes on in the minds of their readers.
Among the data were the top five abandoned classics: Catch 22 by Joseph Heller; Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein; Ulysses by James Joyce; Moby Dick by Herman Melville; and Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.
I will admit that Ulysses is a tough read for me. In fact, though I love books of all kinds, I do not think I have ever seen this one through to the finish. It is long and complex, and, according to Joyce himself, was full of puzzles and obscure references that will have professors debating the meaning of passages for hundreds of years. (He wryly commented that it would ensure his immortality.)
Not exactly a 50 Shades of Grey-like summer beach read.
Of Ulysses, one reviewer has said that college professors assign this book to lit majors “in order the weed out the weak, who more than likely change majors to something less demanding, like quantum physics.”
What makes you abandon a book?
The infographic below from Goodreads is full of information on what keeps readers turning the pages, what makes them dump a book and how long it takes them to make that decision.
Do you agree with the findings?
What makes you stop reading a book?
Have you ever put down any of the top abandoned books from this survey before finishing them?