Ah, this article from the UK Telegraph about Nick Hornby's comments makes me feel I'm not alone in book abandonment.
Indeed, much of the problem with books today, is that there is such a gulf between “literary” novels – often unreadable – and supermarket-shelf novels, readable but awful. (Laura Thompson, The Telegraph)
On the other hand, many books that others have found “difficult” are the ones that I enjoyed – often more to do where I was in my life at the time.
I always associate Edgware Road, London, with Leo Tolstoy, which might seem rather odd connection, but it was while I was stuck in a boring and solitary temp job in an office there (Dark Ages before computers) that War and Peace, followed by Anna Karenina, came to my rescue and I was doing so well with my total absorption in Russian literature, I was about to move onto the even more tricky Dostoevsky Crime and Punishment when my assignment concluded. Alas, the thread was broken and somehow I've never found my way back …
(Interesting that below the Telegraph article are links to the latest “literary” Booker nominated books - just reading the synopses is giving me brain-fag.)