Abondonment 

I did something night I don’t normally do. Last night I finally abandoned a book I have been laboring through.  While I know abandoning books is something all readers do, it bothered me to give up. I felt like I failed myself and failed the author in a way. 

I am a huge historical fiction fan with a special affection for all things Tudor. Thomas Cromwell is fascinating to me, and I was excitided to hear about Wolf Hall.   A book dedicated to uncovering the mysteries of this complicate man. It started off slow, but I am persistent. I found the style of writing difficult to follow, but I dug into my toolbox and kept going. I reread, tracked my thinking, used my prior knowledge but by 35% in, I was done. I don’t mind working hard as a reader, but this was putting a bad taste for reading in my mouth.  At that point, I had to let go. 

It is important for us to teach readers when it is okay to let a book go.  Just like we think about which books are the right books for us, we need to know when the relationship is no longer working. Thoughtful abandonment is a skill we all need to learn. 

I may decide to revisit Mr. Cromwell in the future. For now though, it was time to let go.  My reading time is too precious. 



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11 Comments

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11 responses to “Abondonment 

  1. It is difficult to abandon a book. I wish I had the courage to do so! Instead, I stay chained to text for 3-5 years and THEN I force myself to finish.
    I applause your courage to “read” for you!

  2. I agree with you about abandoning books. I feel like a bit of a failure when I do it. And yes, we need to teach our kiddos when it is ok, in fact, necessary to abandon books. No time to waste!! I tell my students, it probably doesn’t fit you now, maybe later! Just like you and Mr. Cromwell.

  3. Jen

    I really appreciated your blog post! The statement “thoughtful abandonment is a skill we all need to learn” particularly resonated with me. I think this is something that we have to address explicitly not only with our students, but also with ourselves as teacher-readers. We have to give ourselves and our students permission to walk away from a book that’s just not working for us (yet). Thank you for highlighting an issue that is important!

  4. I so agree it is hard to let go of a book but reading time is special and there are so many books to read!

    Happy writing this month.

  5. I have learned how to abandon…so many books…so little time. The last one I was exhausted before chapter 3 and I decided to trudge through…it ended up being a pretty good mystery…so surprise, sometimes that works too. xo

  6. Jaana

    When there are so many great books to read why bother with one that cannot keep your interest? Hope your next book is a lot more interesting!

  7. You did everything you could! Sometimes you just have to move on… reading is supposed to be fun! Thanks for sharing your slice with us!

  8. It is hard to let go of a book, but with so many books to read, I’m finding I have less patience for books that don’t grab me and pull me in. Great start to the month!

  9. “thoughtful abandonment” sounds like the beginning of a beautiful journey of discovering when to let go. The guilt seems arbitrary–though I understand it. Who made the rule that just because you begin you have to finish–isn’t the compliment to even have begun, and more-so to have had to work hard and try? The commodity isn’t the book, it’s your time. And maybe it’s neither the book nor you, but just not the time.

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