Which books did people buy but not finish this year?

We’ve all been there. You start reading the year’s most talked about book but no matter how hard you try, you can’t work out what the hell the fuss is all about.

After days or even weeks of trying to read it, you give up and move on to a John Grisham.

If you did that with Pulitzer Prize winning author Donna Tart’s latest book, The Goldfinch, you’re actually in the majority, it seems.

A startling 55.6% of people who bought the 800-page bestseller didn’t finish it.

E-book retailer Kobo, who released the figures, said it “likely proved daunting for some due to the length of the novel”.

Similarly, Twelve Years a Slave written by Solomon Northup, which was turned in to a BAFTA and Oscar-winning film, failed to keep readers’ attention, with only 28.2% of Brits finishing the book.

E-reader companies such as Kobo and Amazon track readers’ progress and preferences in a lot of depth, but this is the first time any have realised the figures to the public.

In contrast to these critically-acclaimed bestsellers, the most-finished book was self-published Rotten to the Core by Casey Kelleher, with 83% of people reading it cover to cover.

“A book’s position on the bestseller list may indicate it’s bought, but that isn’t the same as it being read or finished,” said Michael Tamblyn, president and chief content officer at Kobo.

“A lot of readers have multiple novels on the go at any given time, which means they may not always read one book from start to finish before jumping into the next great story. People may wait days, months, or even until the following year to finish certain titles. And many exercise that inalienable reader’s right to set down a book if it doesn’t hold their interest.”

Kobo’s UK Bestseller List

1.One Cold Night – Katia Lief

2. Gone Again – Doug Johnstone

3. Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

4. The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

5. My Sister’s Keeper – Bill Benners

6. The Husband’s Secret – Liane Moriarty

7. The Cuckoo’s Calling – Robert Galbraith

8. Her Last Letter – Nancy C. Johnson

9. Twelve Years a Slave – Solomon Northup

10. Bloody Valentine – James Patterson


Kobo’s most completed books of 2014

1. Rotten to the Core - Casey Kelleher

2. The Tycoon’s Vacation – Melody Anne

3. The Traitor – Kimberley Chambers

4. Concealed in Death – JD Robb

5. Wrongful Death - Lynda La Plante

6. All Revved Up - Sylvia Day

7. Present Danger - Stella Rimington

8. The Empty Cradle - Rosie Goodwin

9. The Witness - Nora Roberts

10. The Promise (Fallen Star Series, Book 4) – Jessica Sorensen

What are your book recommendations? Let us know on Facebook or in the comments below.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Anonymous

    This says more about the short attention spans of the e-generation than it does about the authors or the books.

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