I've been making unsteady progress through Tolstoy's War and Peace for a couple months now. At the rate of ten pages per day, it would take around a hundred days to finish, and that is my approximate pace. But I go days without reading a page. Henry James called the novel and others like it "loose baggy monsters," a phrase suggesting uneven performance and slack organization that, with respect to War and Peace, seems to me apt. The characters may go on a fox hunt that is described with thorough Tolstoyan relish, but which at the same time does not seem to advance the narrative, so that one forms the impression that perhaps Tolstoy himself had gone on a fox hunt while in the middle of the book, and next morning wrote it up and in it went. Then there are the crushingly boring sections that read like the monograph of a PhD candidate in history. I think I remember reading somewhere that Hemingway said War and Peace would be an even greater book if Tolstoy had cut the sections that he probably considered to be the very greatest. Hemingway might have been right about that.
Anyhow, I think it is the heterogeneous sprawl that accounts for my unsteady progress through the book. I have an electronic edition loaded on my phone, so that I don't have to lug around the thousand pages, but at home I read a Norton critical edition that includes at the beginning of every chapter a little editorial header describing the contents of that chapter. It's useful when you are trying to find something that would otherwise be like a particular pebble on the beach, but it tends to cause stalls when, shutting the book and turning off the lamp at night, you notice that the header for the next chapter is, say, "Senselessness of the battle of Borodino, and erroneousness of the historians' account of it." Next day instead of reading in bed I'm apt to watch the Twins, and the always interesting "Twins Live" when the game is done.
On the other hand, I pass many evenings happily sunk in the endless effortless flow of words describing the lives of the Rostovs and Bolkonskys and Bezukhovs, the mesmerizing effect occasionally interrupted by something truly arresting, like the thoughts of Prince Andrew on the night before the Battle of Borodino as he contemplates, in the 24th chapter of Book X, his likely death the next day.