Why Do You Abandon A Book?

Have you ever picked up a book that someone recommended to you that you were super excited to read, and you just couldn’t get into it?

Or on the teaching end, have some of your students been unable to get into a book that you thought they would like, or that other groups have liked, only to find them struggling to get through it? Of course, it is easy to put down a pleasure read, but if the book is assigned reading for class, your students (or you!) don’t always get that option!

The handy infographic below takes a look at the psychology of book abandonment. It takes the top 5 most abandoned “popular” books, the top 5 abandoned “classics”, and looks at some of the reasons folks give for what makes them keep reading or stop reading. So the next time you’re having trouble with a book in class, you can look at some of the ideas and perhaps use them to pick a better option that will keep your students turning pages. Keep reading to learn more.

Why Do Readers Abandon Books?

Top 5 Abandoned “Popular” Books (and some reasons why)

  • JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy (different expectations – it wasn’t Harry Potter)
  • EL James’ Fifty Shades of Grey (it isn’t for everyone)
  • Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love (it is divisive)
  • Steig Larson’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (too hard to get into/slow beginning)
  • Wicked (It wasn’t the same as the musical/movie)

Top 5 Abandoned Classics

  • Catch 22
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Ulysses
  • Moby Dick
  • Atlas Shrugged

What Makes You Put A Book Down?

  • Slow, Boring
  • Weak writing
  • Extremely stupid
  • I don’t like the main character
  • Ridiculous or nonexistent plot

What Makes You Want To Keep Reading?

  • I have to know what happens
  • As a rule, I like to finish things
  • I’m committed to a series
  • I judge books by the endings