Many of us have physical bookshelves at home crammed with books that we loved. Some of us also have many books we haven’t even opened yet. Likewise many of us have virtual bookshelves stuffed to the gills with much-beloved and to-be-read tomes. And then there are the books that we tried – and failed – to finish.
As James Joyce once said, life is too short to read bad books, and it seems that many users of GoodReads feel the same. Using the shelves feature, users have grouped together the books they have given up on, using various different shelves titles, e.g. did-not-finish, DidNotFinish, DNF, abandoned, etc. GoodReads have amalgamated these into one 100,000-strong list of books to not bother with.
So what came top of the list? The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling, which was abandoned 763 times. This is not surprising given her previous series was aimed at a completely different demographic and Vacancy bears scant similarity to it. Even thus forewarned, readers of the Harry Potter series would probably be hoping to find something they loved in this novel, only to be disappointed and abandon it.
Most-abandoned books on GoodReads 2019
Some of the other entries are a little more unexpected though: American Gods (Neil Gaiman, abandoned 665 times), A Game of Thrones (George R. R. Martin, abandoned 662 times), The Goldfinch (Donna Tartt, abandoned 577 times) even the hugely popular The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Stieg Larsson, abandoned 429 times).
On a more positive note, the GoodReads 2019 awards results are in so here’s a genre-by-genre breakdown of books to definitely bother with!