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The Book That Takes Forever…

I started reading Midnight’s Children on August 19. That was two months ago!

I believe this might have been the longest period of time I’ve taken to read one novel since I started the blog.

For whatever reason, this novel is taking me forever to read. Usually I would blame that on my dislike for the book, but that’s not the case with Midnight’s Children.

I actually like the novel, but I’ve just been reading it in small doses. The good news is that I only have about 20 pages left. So I’ll definitely finish it up this week and plan on posting my review early next week.

My slow pace with this one leads me to ask you guys this question: What’s the longest you’ve ever taken to read one novel?

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42 Comments Post a comment
  1. For mr it was a three-way tie between Ulysses, In Search of Lost Time, and The Satanic verses. There are just some books, like Midnight’s Children, that should be read slowly and with care in order to fully understand and digest them.

    I’m reading Powell’s Dance to the Music of time with a group and we are reading one volume a month so technically that is the longest for me. it certainly feels like it is never ending because I’ve found it really boring.

    Liked by 1 person

    October 19, 2015
    • Sorry, for typos. Wrote reply on my phone

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      October 19, 2015
  2. I started Ulysses when I was in college. There’s still a bookmark halfway through. I have promised myself that 35 years is long enough. Now that I’ve just read “The Most Dangerous Book: The Battle for James Joyce’s Ulysses” by Kevin Birmingham I’ve promised myself to finish the book. And I hope I won’t take another 35 years to finish it.

    Liked by 1 person

    October 19, 2015
  3. Reblogged this on oshriradhekrishnabole.

    Liked by 1 person

    October 19, 2015
  4. asimmulla #

    for me it would be “The fellowship of the ring.”

    Liked by 1 person

    October 19, 2015
  5. The Street Philosopher by Matthew Plampin.
    For some unknown reason I couldn’t get past the first chapter for months, I kept going back and starting again over and over. Which was highly strange, but when I got past the first chapter and carried on reading into the second I was hooked and finished it in a few days. I really loved it. I don’t know perhaps that final time I had more brain power to continue or something clicked but I have never taken that long to get into a book before. Highly worth it though. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    October 19, 2015
  6. Ulysses and Moby Dick. Started both books when I was 18. I am 59, and haven’t finished them yet. Bookmarks up to a third of the way in. Started over many times. I can’t seem to read those two books.

    Liked by 1 person

    October 19, 2015
  7. GOSH it too me forever too! And I’m ashamed to say I gave up…. Even though I liked it!

    Liked by 1 person

    October 19, 2015
  8. It took me four months to read Gone With the Wind. And about two-three months to read The Stand.

    Liked by 1 person

    October 19, 2015
  9. It took me about a year to read Great Expectations. I hated that book, but I was determined to finish it. I was so disappointed in it because A Tale of Two Cities is one of my favorites!

    Liked by 1 person

    October 19, 2015
  10. ‘Diary of a Young Girl’ by Anne Frank. Took me 3 years to complete this piece of non-fiction, but when it did end, it had me in more tears than any well-written fictional tragedy. First started it at the age of 12 over a long plane ride. Liked it, but not enough to continue once the short vacation ended. I guess I just wasn’t mature enough to get the subject’s gravity. Three years later as i discovered the book again at the back of the shelf, I read it cover to cover in 4 days flat. And I can vouch now that this book holds a special place in my heart.

    I guess the best meat is really the one cooked slowly with love in an aged homely hearth. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    October 19, 2015
  11. Rayuela de Julio Cortázar. Es un libro espectacular pero cometí el error de leerlo de la manera normal y ahora estoy releyéndolo en la forma desordenada que establece.

    A veces quiero renunciar porque es muy pesado y difícil de entender, pero esa dificultad me hace querer entenderlo por eso sigo. También en algunas partes quiero pasar de largo porque ya lo leí, pero siento como que si releyendo esos capítulos fuera a descubrir algo importante y no puedo dejar de leerlos de nuevo.

    Tengo en espera cuatro libros que me hacen “ojitos” todos los días, espero terminar rayuela antes de que el mes termine. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    October 19, 2015
  12. Unfortunately, if a novel takes me more than a month to read, that probably means I’m not going to finish it. Momentum is hugely important for me while I’m reading. So I admire anyone who can read a book in short bursts over a long period of time. I set out to do that with Infinite Jest and stopped after two short 20-page reading sessions. I just can’t seem to read like that.

    Liked by 2 people

    October 19, 2015
  13. I just finished Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall. I’d read about two-thirds of it a couple of years ago, and then put it down. It had been so long I had to start over and re-read the whole thing. She has some narrative habits that are almost like dialect– you have to accustom yourself to them in order to read in a way that flows naturally. It was an interesting book, but a little uncomfortable to read.

    Liked by 2 people

    October 19, 2015
    • I agree! Very tough to read Hilary Mantel. I;d like to add that I’m usually quite savvy in distinguishing between characters and who says who and who does what, but that was also problematic in several of her novels that I’d read.

      Liked by 1 person

      October 21, 2015
  14. Took me a few weeks to read The Two Towers the first time I read in in high school which felt glacial. I think the actual longest was one of the big Russian novels which took about a month (Karenina maybe?), but I took a break at one of the volumes to read something else.

    Liked by 1 person

    October 19, 2015
  15. Frankenstein….I’ve been reading it for 2 weeks and counting now. 2 weeks isn’t long, but considering that it’s just a 200-page long novel, 2 weeks seems like forever. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    October 19, 2015
  16. chottabhai #

    it has got to be infinite jest… it just goes on and on … even in the appendix!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    October 20, 2015
  17. Reblogged this on Anita & Jaye Dawes.

    Liked by 1 person

    October 20, 2015
  18. RostamKabuli #

    I could say the longest period of time i read a novel was “Crime and Punishment” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. it took me 3 months to read.

    Liked by 1 person

    October 20, 2015
  19. I don’t remember which one exactly took me the longest, but I do remember Midnight’s Children taking me at least 6-8 weeks. I loved the book, but Rushdie has a way of making me feel a little dumb, and I was regularly having to consult a dictionary to look up various words. Shantaram took me a little while to get through – it’s 900 pages and I was working a full-time job – and recently it took me almost a month to finish The Bone People.

    Liked by 1 person

    October 20, 2015
  20. I’ve been working on Anna Karenina for about 5 months now (only about halfway through), and although it is a long text I think it’s taken me this long because I’ve become obsessed with the notes and historical references. So, I seem to be doing more research than reading; I’m hoping to be done before Christmas.

    I’ll also say that it took me a year to read the final Harry Potter book – but that was mostly out of denial for its “conclusion.”

    Liked by 1 person

    October 20, 2015
  21. Three months for War and Peace. Worth. Every. Minute.

    Liked by 1 person

    October 20, 2015
  22. shanniebananie #

    Thornbirds was my biggest read. Such a great story! It’s the only book I have read twice.

    Liked by 1 person

    October 20, 2015
  23. I have the same problems with Salman Rushdie as the ones you guys are describing.
    At the moment I’m struggling with the highly-praised Paul Beatty. I read some excerpts of his newest novel “The Sellout.” They were hilarious. I decided to save the book for later and first read his earlier novel “The White Boy Shuffle.” Possibly similar to Rushdie’s, Beatty’s style is very dense. Almost every other sentence that he writes is a “gem,” not only stylistically but also comically. And it’s about racial issues that are played out in the US, which I’m not entirely familiar with, as I’m not American. In short, I don’t get all the jokes, but I’m really trying. This is such a hard job that I’ve given up halfway, even though the book is entertaining me. The only thing I can say that detracts from the value of the book is it’s rambling, but on the other hand that is the point of the style.
    Does anybody else read Paul Beatty?

    Liked by 1 person

    October 21, 2015
  24. Like someone said above, if a book takes me more than a month to read, I tend to abandon it. But one book that took me forever to read that I did finish was The Tiger’s Wife, by Tea Obrecht. This book was so interesting, but for some reason I had to read it really slowly, only a chapter or two at a time. It took me about 3 months, despite only being a couple hundred pages.

    Like

    October 21, 2015
    • That’s interesting. A friend of mine recommended me this book years ago. He’d read it quickly. I haven’t even looked inside.

      Like

      October 21, 2015
      • It was definitely an interesting, well written book. It’s very detail heavy, though, and I found that I started getting lost in the stories-within-stories. I’d recommend it, though!

        Like

        October 21, 2015
  25. I’ve been trying to read Lord of the Rings for 10 years. It’s now made it to my bucket list of things to achieve before I part this mortal earth….

    Like

    October 21, 2015
  26. I actually did something this week I haven’t done in at least ten years: I abandoned a book [I stopped reading it entirely with no definite plans to return to it . . . ever].

    Like

    October 21, 2015
  27. I had the exact same experience with this book. Except, unlike you, I didn’t really enjoy it that much. I think it probably had something to do with the fact that it was so slow to read. Congratulations on getting to the end!

    The book I’ve taken longest to read a book is A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth. I sat on that one for about 3 months (although I’m sure I took some breaks from reading it in that time). That was a struggle to get through and made me wish that I was one of those people who could not finish a book if they aren’t enjoying it.

    Like

    October 21, 2015
  28. Great post and question! It took me 2 months to read Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I liked the book a lot, but it was definitely a deep thinking book and it took a long time to digest, plus I took a lot of notes to keep track of everything!

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    October 22, 2015
  29. I took several months to make it through Wolf Hall, but at least I finished it because the vocabulary and perspective was so great. The Brothers Karamazov has been a multi-year project; it is packed so tight that I may never get into a reading groove.

    Like

    October 24, 2015
  30. Midnight’s Children took me longer than two months – during which time I got to the point of stopping more than once. Glad I persevered in the end but it felt a slog often. Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy also took a few months. I enjoyed it but kept getting lost about who was who…

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    October 26, 2015
  31. Have mainly resolved this “problem” in a few different ways.

    1) I belong to several book clubs that meet on a regular basis so I feel duty bound to complete each selection by the scheduled date. My Classics Book Club scheduled the reading of War and Peace and Les Miserables to be read in sections over the summer, but those still don’t hold my personal record.

    2) I am in the process of reading three different books at any one time. That gives me enough variety to keep plowing (if necessary) through each of them. Keeping them all straight in my brain is also good mental exercise!

    3) I started reading The Friday Night Knitting Club and Faith of My Fathers around the time I retired. This was almost two years ago and both are still sitting on my shelf with my place marked. They will probably stay that way for an indeterminate amount of time because I have (a) been distracted by the new books and authors I have discovered through my book clubs; (b) I have discovered a lot of classics on my book shelves and through other book lists (like this one) that I want to read and (c) the subjects are not as interesting to me as they were when I purchased them. They are still on the shelf, though, because it is my practice to complete what I have started, just with no definite deadline!

    Like

    November 2, 2015
  32. Mahee Ferlini #

    I’m just glad to read in the comments that I’m not the only person that has the bad habit of getting busy and not finishing books. And yes, I’m also guilty of starting over on a book and losing interest more than once. I only read as long as it is entertaining me – if the book is dull, or even if it starts interesting and gets boring in the middle, I don’t feel the need to finish. P.S. Educational books aside.

    Like

    November 11, 2015
  33. It took me a month to read Harry Potter Order of the Phoenix. I took my time and read it carefully as it was my favorite in the Harry Potter series.

    Like

    January 1, 2016

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