Books I Have Abandoned

Last week I had to face the sad reality that I have to abandon reading a book. Try as I might, I simply cannot fight my way through it. This is the second time I’ve started on it, so it’s definitely not because I haven’t given it a fair shot. At least this time I got half way through it.

What’s the book? North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. So one of the classics.

I think this could actually win an award for the worst book cover ever.

Elizabeth Gaskell North and South

I wanted to much to like it. Mainly because I love the TV adaption with Richard Armitage as Mr Thornton (Richard Armitage = Thorin Oakenshield). At this point my son is rolling his eyes and inwardly screaming, ‘Stop talking about Thorin!’

Sadly for me, I just can’t get into it. It could be the cover. Or it could simply be that right now, at this point in my life, I’m just not into nineteenth century writing. I feel quite bad for having given up, as though I’ve let all the reading gods down.

Another one I’ve given up on is Outlander. This one I feel really bad about because it’s my mother’s all-time favourite. She’s loved it since before the name was changed and always said it would make a fantastic television show. This one is just sitting on the shelf, waiting to be picked up again. I do intend to finish it one day, but my desire to read it just fizzled.


I think sometimes I find it hard to motivate myself to read a book whose story I already know – if it doesn’t capture me right from the beginning.

I’d hate to think that one day something I wrote will be out there, the one someone has given up on, but I’m sure it will happen. Not everything is for everyone.

What books have you give up on?

Does it make you feel bad, too?

Author: Eva O'Reilly

Writer, avid reader, large dog lover, cake baker and Francophile. Living in hope of finding either a literary agent or a large audience on Amazon.

18 thoughts on “Books I Have Abandoned

    1. I remember reading that in France, in my horrible little room where the walls bled livid green. My friend had given me an old screen adaptation so I had something to watch on rainy days, and I thought it was so awful I had to read the book. I’ve never read it since, so I guess it never turned out to be a favourite.


  1. I gave up on Outlander, too! For a long time I thought I had to be the only one. My mom also loves this series and the TV show and I just can’t figure it out. Though I was 13 when she handed it to me and told me to read it. Sometimes I think I should give it another try, a few years shy of 20 years later, but then the only scene I remember is Claire and her husband tumbling down a hill and my brain screams “Noooooooo!”

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    1. I don’t get it with my mum, either. I think maybe I give up because she’s also spoken so much about it, so there are really no surprises. I made it to the part in the TV series when Claire and Jamie get married and then gave up. My mum’s comment on the show is ‘Claire is too thin compared to the book. But what do you expect these days?’ That I find quite sad.

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  2. I think everyone has at least one book they just can’t get through. I’ve abandoned a couple, although now I can’t remember their titles (and I definitely would have given up on the Mill on the Floss if I hadn’t had to read it for a class). On another note–never stop talking about Thorin 🙂

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  3. I find it really hard to abandon a book because I always feel that I had to finish every single book I start. But it happens from time to time. Some I can remember from my early years are Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (too many descriptions of everything that lived under the sea) and La Celestina, which I had to read for my literature class at school. And the last book I gave up was Moll Flanders . it was not THAT bad but I got to the point where I simply couldn’t be bothered about her days as thief.

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    1. I feel that way, too. Every time I give up on one I feel like I’ve let it, or myself, down somehow. But there are little to how much of a nice girl one should be!


  4. If I can’t finish a book I always give it a second chance. I can’t remember many I’ve given up on. The last was Dr. Zhivago. The movie is great but I hate the way the book is written. You make a great point about knowing the plot beforehand. It does make it harder.

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  5. hello eva oreilly its dennis the vizsla dog hay my dada sez a buk has to be reely reely bad befor he wil abandon it it is like he thinks he gits sum kind of prize for trying to slog throo a buk!!! i tel him life is short put the buk down and giv me a treet!!! ha ha ok bye

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