On digital reading.

According to a recent article in The Guardian, e-book retailers are now able to tell which books we’ve finished or not finished, how fast we have read them, and precisely where we snapped shut the cover of our e-books and moved on to something else. Only 44.4 percent of British readers who use a Kobo eReader made it all the way through Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch, while a mere 28.2 percent reached the end of Solomon Northup’s Twelve Years a Slave. Yet both these books appeared—and remained for some time—on the British bestseller lists.

– Francine Prose, They’re Watching You Read, NY Review of Books

As an author, I would love to know if/when (?!) my books are put down.  For my YA works, all are very quick reads, and I would assume they had mostly been finished.  For Room 702, I am curious to know when people stopped reading.  Essentially, a self published author’s goal is to have a sale, but I think we’d all like to believe that our work was being enjoyed by the reader.

As much as I write, I also thoroughly enjoy reading, and a scan of my e-reader would find almost exclusively completed reads – I will finish almost anything I start.  My inability to get into Infinite Jest aside, I found an exception to this recently and with a book I sincerely wanted to enjoy.   Scott Westerfeld is well known in YA circles, and Leviathan is on my list as a bit of steampunk research.  However…  I tried three times to get into the book, but found myself unable to connect with the characters or world.  A quick look at the reviews on Goodreads helped me understand I wasn’t alone.  To me, there was simply too much technical jargon and not enough story.  I liked the premise enough, but also didn’t particularly care for the characters – they were a bit meh to me.

What say you, dear reader?  Do you have a book that you were looking forward to reading, only to abandon it?

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