I keep a shelf on my Goodreads account just for this. The latest one listed, as of November 30, 2015, is The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro. My first novel, which I'm researching and writing, and at the moment have stopped to research some more, involves a sizable will, so I was curious about how Tessaro covered the inheritance Grace receives.
But I couldn't get through it because Grace's gradual change was too gradual for me, and at times, too much time spent on atmosphere over character. I like an intermingling of the two, in which atmosphere might inform the character as well, but it felt like Tessaro was more interested in this perfume world than her characters.
When I put a book into my "abandoned-lack-of-interest" shelf, as it's listed in my account, it's gone forever. I will not try it again. And when I click on that shelf, and scroll through 88 titles (since 2008, when I started my account, but that warrants further explanation in a moment), I remember why I closed these books and returned them to the library or donated them.
I don't expect a book to spread its wings right at page 10. But if I'm at page 50 and it still hasn't done much, I'm gone.
However, that Goodreads shelf isn't representative of all the books I've stopped reading because I wasn't into them. There have been some books that I've simply deleted from my "currently-reading" shelf, thinking that maybe I'd encounter them again some day because at least in that reading, there WAS something there, but there just wasn't enough of that something. Or so I thought.
Case in point: "Florida Roadkill" by Tim Dorsey. I've found that I'm not really a fan of books that branch out into multiple perspectives right away. Give me one character at the start, one person to get to know, and THEN go for it. Give me all the people that he or she encounters and I can handle that.
But in "Florida Roadkill," Tim Dorsey jumps from one person to another to an entirely different set of people, and I guess it was simply a matter of being patient enough because it all eventually comes together. I'm a proud native Floridian, so I felt obligated to try it. I know now that the big draw is Serge A. Storms, the psychotic lover of all things Florida, who at times actually makes more sense than the other crazies looking to get ahead in Dorsey's novels. I didn't know that at the time. I got to where Storms was introduced in "Florida Roadkill," but where was I supposed to look? Who could I want to get to know more if the perspective kept shifting and jumping and diving and surfacing like a dolphin? It was annoying!
I deleted it from my Goodreads account. Maybe I would bump into it again one day. Maybe not.
Then, last month, I read that a production company is looking to adapt "Florida Roadkill" as a TV series. Was there something in it that I was missing? Besides, I'm always for a TV series set in Florida.
So I found that the copy I originally checked out from my local library was still there (you can't always count on the books there to always be there, since the branch manager is always too weed-happy. You don't weed books unless you have something to replace it with. That's why the 940s at my library look decimated. There's too much room on those shelves), and checked it out, changing my mindset to see if I could see what these producers were seeing.
I loved it. And I realized that it's worth reading through the other characters to get to Serge A. Storms, and especially his interactions with them. When he's off his meds, he's the passionate, devoted, religious Florida tour guide that I wish I had had more of when I was living there. I wanted more!
So far, I've also read "Hammerhead Ranch Motel" and "Orange Crush." There's was a roadblock to getting to "Triggerfish Twist" because someone has it checked out until the 26th. So I ordered it from Abebooks. I wasn't going to wait.
Right now, I've got the same problem. I'm reading "Ragged Company" by Richard Wagamese, and it's not that I'm not into it, but it's very slow-going because I had a busy week at work, and I've got a book review to finish writing, as well as the next book to read for a possible review. Plus, my family and I are a little over a month away from moving to a new apartment, and I've got to decide which books to get rid of from the teetering stacks on the floor in my room as well as the books sitting on the lip of the shelves of my bookcases, but not in my bookcases. I know that I'm going to replace a few of the books from the two smaller bookcases (my floating collection, meaning books I want to read, but am not sure if I'm going to keep, like my main bookcases, which houses my permanent collection, although a shelf or two of one of the smaller bookcases will hold what I couldn't fit in the main bookcase) with books I want to read more than those, that I absolutely have to have with me because I know I'll read them some time.
So in this case, I might not be into "Ragged Company" right NOW. But I think I ought to keep it just the same. Also, if not for some of the library books I picked up today that I want to read more, I'd probably make a bigger effort.