Haruki Murakami's magnum opus 1Q84 hits shelves this week. It is undoubtedly the literary event of the year, and clocking it at nearly 1,000 pages, one that I am sure will initially sell well, but not one people will actually read from cover to cover. It is a publishing rule of thumb that short stories and long books aren’t great cash cows. People seem like their books to be 300-500 pages, something that can be read in more than a day but less than a week. Investing in a long book can be a scary thing. Reading a novel is like taking in a roommate; you don’t want to just let anyone roam around your dirty closets and liqueur cabinet. A long novel takes time, takes effort, requires stamina, and if you have been burned once before (It, anyone?), not something you are eager to have in bed with you. I sat for hours reading Roberto Bolano’s 2666, determined to finish it, even in the face of a boredom so profound I thought of reading Dickens. I made it through the novel’s famously torturous fourth section, which reads like a police report. After each gruesome murder I became desensitized to the violence Bolano, and shifted into a restless mode, scanning each page for plot, skipping over the repetitive parts. Could I skip ahead and if I do can does that count as finishing the novel? Would I be missing something? Would anyone really care? As I asked myself these questions, I realized the end of my reading experience with Bolano was near. I just couldn’t do it anymore. I finished the section, put the book down, and started something else. So, I am interested: What long or “tough” books have you attempted but never finished? When do you realize it is time to give up?