I used to finish them, always. But in 1995 that all changed for me. I was given a Perec to read (in English). The one with no letter ‘e’. It was making me miserable, and when I discovered (having not noticed until I read the back cover) that it was artificially conceived and then even worse, translated with the same artifice in place, I decided it could be discarded with impunity.
It was the start of my new life as a non-finisher of books. Surely the thing a book should do, the most general thing it should do, is make you want to pick it up. If you are picking it up like it’s something you’d prefer not to, gingerly, with the tips of your fingers, that’s the message right there. Stop! You are going to die before you read all the wonderful books out there. Why read this one? Stubbornness is rarely a virtue in a reader.