I’ve tried, but I never could read that book. It bothered me a little, just like it bothers me that I haven’t read War and Peace, never tried to even. I don’t like Dickens. I haven’t read Thomas Hardy or Henry James. I didn’t like Middlemarch, I hated Wuthering Heights and I found it very hard to read James Joyce.
These are all great authors and wonderful books. But I haven’t read them or if I did, I didn’t like them all that much. The first big issue for me, I think, is that I’m not particularly fond of fiction, which does not of course, explain why I am fond of Jane Austen, Aldous Huxley, Marcel Proust, Conan Doyle, Stevenson or even P G Wodehouse, for that matter.
I think it is a matter of personal taste. While it is important to me that a book be written well, that alone is not enough. A book may have a lot of literary merit, but I cannot read it unless I actually like some of the people in it it. This is true for biographies as well. If I do not particularly like the person or the people that a book is about, I’m going to find it tough going.
That may not sound like a very mature way of looking at it, but the way I see it, if I am not enjoying a book, I see no reason whatsoever to keep reading it. And I will certainly never read a book just so I can say I have read it.