This week, Book Riot published a great article by Liberty Hardy where she discusses her inability to put down a book once she starts it. She says, “For me, it is impossible to turn my back on a book.”
I know her pain. I started The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, and honestly, at almost page 100, I’m just still not very excited. My friend Nicole Bonia suggested that if I got to page 100 and still found myself feeling lackluster about it, move on. I hope I can. But it’s not likely.
You see, I feel obligated to the books and the writers. Once I start a book, it’s almost a compulsion that I need to finish it. I don’t want to slight the book because it might suddenly get really good – see Middlemarch as a case in point – and I want to honor the work the writer put into it by reading through.
That said, there are so many books in the world, heck, there are so many books in my office that I want to read that I also feel guilty pushing through something that I’m not enjoying.
Sometimes – as is the case here – the book becomes due at the library, and I have to return it. If that’s the case, I probably will never finish it and will feel the twinge of guilt every time I see it on the shelf. But at least then I will move on to other books, which I may or may not love but will still feel compelled to finish. Ah, the vicious cycle . . . it’s a terrible plight, I tell you. 🙂
What about you? Are you a chronic finisher? Or do you decide early on whether to keep going or not? What page number determines if you keep reading?