I was looking at my “currently reading” list on Goodreads when I added yet another book to it (it was Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – I’ve just seen the first part of the series and I’m *hooked*, seriously, I haven’t been this excited about a series since I’ve started watching Elementary, I think!) and I saw that I’ve had one book on there for three months. And then I turned to my bookshelf (it’s right behind my back so I swiveled around in my fancy Ikea chair on wheels) and started counting all the books I’ve started but not finished in the recent years.
This photo above shows only a part of these – and I’m not even counting the random e-books I’ve downloaded (freebies, discounted books) and library books, of course. I mean good books – not the ones that make you want to pry your eyes out and make you angry at yourself for trying to read them in the first place. These are just the ones that stood out because they have bookmarks poking out of them and are easily spotted. I’m not even going to start listing all the series I’ve started but not finished… because I’d probably get a headache.
So here are some of the titles:
- The Magicians by Lev Grossman
- Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan
- The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
- A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin
- Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
- Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
- Tobie Lollness by Timothee de Fombelle
- The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb
Yeah… This might not seem like a lot of books to some of you bookish people, but it is to me. I like finishing what I’ve started. But WHY? WHY don’t I finish these great, lovely, exciting books?
I think it’s usually the case of something more exciting – fresher, easier to read – coming along and distracting me. I’d get a new YA fantasy, a delicious historical romance, a sequel to a series I’m dying to read, review copies, translation material… And I stop reading these.
But then it’s so hard to get back into something I’ve started but not finished! In particular, it’s excruciating for me to get back into these epic fantasy series like A Song of Ice and Fire and The Wheel of Time – I feel like I have to read back for a hundred pages before I remember where all the characters are at the moment, who’s doing what, who’s dead and who’s alive, who betrayed whom and what their motives are. It’s just exhausting and I sometimes wonder if it’s worth the trouble. But then I do get back on track, read 300 pages in a single sitting and curse myself for not doing it earlier.
So I’m definitely planning on continuing with Martin’s series (I can’t have HBO spoiling the story for me in Season 5 if I’ve come this far with the books), Jordan’s as well, Hobb is always a favourite, so I’ll be reading her, too, and I’ve got plans for Murakami. The others, though… I just don’t know. Is it worth pursuing a book that never captured my interest enough to make me finish it in the first place?
I don’t have a definite answer to this. I might try some of the others as well, but I think my resolution will last only up until the moment when I get new books in the mail and my eyes go all shiny at the sight of FRESH, NEW BOOKS and I’ll be putting down whatever I’m reading at the moment and forgetting all about it for a couple of days/weeks/months.
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So. Do you always finish your good books? Or do you read whatever holds your interest?
I’d love to hear from you!