Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Readers don't finish almost half of all books they buy, according to a Teletext survey of 4000 readers in the UK. This follows the revelation in my December 2005 column that a third of Brits bought books 'solely to look intelligent.' Now we know which books they are not finishing. Top of the unread fiction list was D B C Pierre's Booker winner, Vernon God Little, followed by what is probably the most famous unedited book of all time, J K Rowling's Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and James Joyce's Ulysses (for which library binding has proved largely unnecessary). Big unfinished nonfiction titles included Bill Clinton's autobiography (a book, I was gratified to discover, I too have not finished), Lynne Truss's Eats, Shoots and Leaves and, tellingly, Allen Carr's Easy Way to Stop Smoking. It made me wonder what 'putdownable' Australian and New Zealand titles might appear on a list done in this part of the world. I'd be glad to receive your nominations, dear readers. Just jot me a line to email@example.com or, if that's too low-tech for you, place a comment on my blog.