During my early youth there were the books I tried, over and over, with no success, to read: Being and Nothingness (odd that Sartre comes first to mind), Atlas Shrugged, and Brave New World; anything by George Eliot; The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden; Great Expectations; Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance; anything by Herman Wouk; Watership Down; the James Herriot books; Your Erroneous Zones; Born Free; Carlos Castaneda; The Day of the Jackal and The Eagle Has Landed; I'm OK—You're OK; The Silmarillion; For Whom the Bell Tolls.
As if to honor that failure I have yet to read any of them. (Contemplating another run at Being and Nothingness makes me shudder. I must have started that book fifteen times.)
Most were my dad's books, left lying around, after he, too, in all likelihood, had set them aside.
Now it's the case that I fail to finish most books. After a few pages, I think: Yeah, I get the idea. Awash in stories, after all these years, the thought of reading now makes me tired.
Yet I still haven't found something better to do.