2015 TBR Pile Challenge Fail

Last year when I made my list to join the 2015 TBR Pile Challenge, as hosted by Roof Beam Reader, I was thrilled to get to add some titles that had been haunting me for years. The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman was one of those books. I think that I first heard about this on one of Jen Lancaster’s blog posts about books that she loved that other people should read. She hadn’t steered me wrong yet so this one went on my list, where it was promptly ignored for the next three years.

The Teleportation Accident is a debut novel that was long listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2012. Beauman wasn’t even thirty when he wrote it and it was supposed to be wickedly funny and irreverent and great.

Well I tried to read it and after slogging through 30 pages, I decided to stop reading it.

In terms of the challenge, I guess this means that one of my alternates is going to have to step up and be counted. In terms of my reading life, making the decision to DNF The Teleportation Accident feels like the right one.

Finishing every book that I started used to be a point of pride with me. How could I know how I felt about a book if I didn’t finish it? What if it got really good and I didn’t finish it so I never knew that?


I’m finally at the point where I say that life is too short to force yourself to read. When I had The Teleportation Accident on deck, I did almost everything I could to avoid reading (my apartment is clean, the laundry was done and I even made dinner – I’m not the cook in the family). And I’m someone who LOVES to read. I read all the time – on the bus, on the couch, during sports, in the sun, before bed, at lunch, at the lake, on the road etc. Avoiding reading is not my forte. The Teleportation Accident was supposed to be funny and irreverent – I found it stuffy and self-indulgent. As far as I could tell, the main character just wants to get laid, doesn’t really give a shit about his work and has horrible friends. The book starts out in 1931 in Germany and the significance of the time probably does become something but there were no hints as to what that something would be and I wasn’t invested enough in anything else to take the time to find out.

No, The Teleportation Accident will be returned to the library unread and I will find another book to help me complete the TBR Pile Challenge.

Anyone else have trouble getting through self-prescribed reading?

19 thoughts on “2015 TBR Pile Challenge Fail

  1. If you want to clean your apartment rather than read then DNFing is always the right decision. I’m struggling with a book right now, but I requested it from the publisher so i feel like i have to finish it.
    And as for The Teleportation Accident. I DNFed as well. I wanted to like it so much, but…

  2. Sometimes DNFing is the best option… I don’t like to leave a book unfinished either, but anything is better than having to force yourself to struggle through a book. Luckily enough the TBR pile challenge has two alternates! 😀

  3. I used to feel the same way as you – what if it gets really good and I miss it if I don’t finish? But, I’ve been through enough of them to know that this is not likely going to happen. So far, since starting my blog and having a few review books to read, I’ve been lucky enough to like them all enough to want to finish. It would be a bummer not to like those ones.

    I’m happy to hear I can cross The Teleportation Accident off my list! Thanks for tying it out for me. 🙂

    • It feels so much better to just cut my losses. Sometimes the books I’ve had to review I haven’t loved, I’ve wanted to DNF. I haven’t got to the point where I’ve stopped reading them yet. I feel obligated. Library books get no such consideration.
      I’m glad to have saved you from a similar experience!

  4. Too bad that this book didn’t work for you. But you are right to DNF it. In the end, a book is not worth your time if you don’t enjoy it. Last year, as soon as I made my list for the TBR Pile Challenge official, I didn’t feel like reading any of the books anymore. Same thing with my 10 Books of Summer list. But this year, I’ve scaled back my expectations, and I am doing much better. Let’s hope I can carry that through the year, and let’s hope one of your alternates steps up and delivers!

    • Isn’t it funny that sometimes the act of making a book something that you h*have* to read basically ensures that you won’t read it? Your inner rebel is back in school being forced to read and she’s not into it. I agree with you that a big part of it is your own expectations.
      I really needed to read The Bone Season anyway!

  5. I am totally with you that life is too short. I’m okay with DNFing a book after a few dozen pages that I didn’t enjoy, but once I hit the halfway point, I start feeling like I came this far and I should finish the job. But this year I just decided that if I wasn’t enjoying something, I would put it down, no matter how far into it I was. Reading is such a relaxing and wonderful hobby and when it becomes a chore to finish something, no thanks. I think you did the right thing! Hopefully onward to a more enjoyable read :).

    • After I stopped with The Teleportation Accident, I started East of Eden. I’m totally obsessed. I can’t get enough, I love it so much. So I think I made the right call. It’s definitely a process to let yourself DNF books that you’re not enjoying. Almost like you need permission from yourself.

  6. Yes! When you are avoiding reading that is the sign to me too that I need to just quit. I felt that way about the review book I just stopped. When I’m people watching on the train over reading I know I’m done. I hope one of your alternate books is better!

    • I do the same thing – I start watching people around me and then I know I’m not properly invested in the book. I’m not having that problem with East of Eden – I’m completely obsessed with it. Which makes me feel like I definitely made the right call.

  7. Yea, I don’t do well even with self-prescribed reading. If I challenge myself it has to be really general, which is why I made my own TBR Challenge this year that doesn’t require a specific list! Lol!

  8. Pingback: TBR Pile Challenge: East of Eden | The Paperback Princess

  9. Pingback: 2015 TBR Pile Challenge – I’m Game. | The Paperback Princess

  10. Pingback: 2015 TBR Pile Challenge Complete | The Paperback Princess

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