Monday, June 1, 2015

The Struggle to Finish Books

I have a problem. I realized it this morning while I was fighting with the stupid Scribd app, trying to download a stupid audiobook. Fine, the book is NOT stupid - it's The Orchid Affair by Lauren Willig (book 8 in the Pink Carnation series, which I happen to love). The Scribd app routinely raises my blood pressure, so I'm totally ok sticking with "stupid" on that count. But the problem I'm writing about has nothing to do with Scribd. I realized that the book I was downloading was the fourth audiobook I have saved on my phone. That seems excessive, especially since I can only listen to one at a time. And then that got me thinking: I have EIGHT (8!!!) books on my "currently reading" shelf on Goodreads! I just took another look at them, and apparently I am over 60% finished with half of them. Why, oh why, must I continue to start new books instead of finishing whatever books I'm already reading? 


Currently Reading - From L-R, percentage of the book I've read: 3%, 29%, 81%, 61%, 86%, 26%, 10%, 84%

In the interest of full disclosure, my "currently reading" shelf isn't the only shelf with books I've started and have yet to finish; I also have a "need to restart" shelf, which is where I shelve books after I've let too much time lapse to pick them up and start reading where I left off. There are SIX (!!) books on this shelf. I'm also sort of in the middle of a Harry Potter re-read, but I have been in Goblet of Fire since January or February.

Need to Restart - I've read at least 60% of all of these books, although I don't have the actual stats at hand.

It isn't like these are books that I'm not planning to finish, either. I'm pretty up front with myself, and I have no qualms DNF-ing books I just don't like or can't get into. And quite a few of these books are really, really excellent or by authors I love to read. I just have poor self control when it comes to picking up new books (or ice cream. I have very poor self control when it comes to ice cream). Sometimes the dramatic tension gets to be too much for me, which is definitely a big reason I take a break from some books. I just really, really need to be better about finishing books!

June is going to be my month for finishing books. I'm challenging myself, right here and now, to finish every single one of these books on both shelves before starting any new books. I think the hardest part for me will be finishing books that are in series, because I happen to own every single available sequel to all the series books on these shelves, and I know I'll want to pick up the next book once the first is finished. The fact that my book count for my 2015 reading challenge will go way up is definitely motivation.... If I can finish all fourteen of these books (fifteen, if I can also finish the Harry Potter), my count will go up by 14-15, even though the amount of reading will be more like 5-6 full books. PS, I totally just made up that number. 

I will let you all know at the end of June if I was successful!

Does anybody else have this problem? Do you switch off between several books, or are you strictly a one-book-at-a-time kind of person?

18 comments:

  1. I have a Not Yet Finished shelf, but thankfully, it's not super long. Wow and you have a lot of really good books on your currently reading list!! Hope you finish them soon! :)

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    1. I know!! I definitely don't put them down because of a lack of quality (at least not most of the time).

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  2. I know that if I allowed myself to read more than book at a time, I won't finish the first one. It happenned once, and then again, and then I stopped doing it. Because some were books that I really liked, but my mind can just be owned by one masterpiece at a time, so always ended up neglecting one (usually the first one)

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    1. I think once I catch up here I'll have to make a rule like that. I'll probably limit myself to one audiobook and one physical/e-book.

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  3. I kinda feel the same way. I have about 10 bookmarked physical books, and about 5 unfinished ebooks. That doesn't mean that I haven't been reading. It just so happens that I find way more interesting, captivating, engrossing books while swimming in a sea of started, but unfinished books. Sigh.

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    1. Exactly! I still read/re-read/listened to eight novels and two short stories, so it's not like I'm slacking in the reading department. I just get distracted!

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  4. I almost never do this, so I can't relate - if I enjoy a book, I finish it! Now, series, on the other hand ... I'm HORRIBLE about finishing those! (Which can be almost the same thing if the series are cliff-hangery.)

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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    1. Ha I have a discussion post about finishing series slated for next week!! Because I sometimes struggle with series as well...

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  5. I'm giving a major side eye right now... FINISH SHERRY THOMAS'S ELEMENTAL SERIES OR ELSE :D The series gets better and better, in my opinion. I always finish books (and usually, series), so I'd like to say I'm good with the commitment... I understand the struggle though!

    Great post, Sarah!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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    1. I KNOW I KNOW! I started The Perilous Sea a couple of weeks ago, and I really don't remember why I put it down. I think I had other books I felt guilty about abandoning (obviously this is a recurring problem), but I absolutely will be finishing it this month. I did read The Burning Sky last month, and I really really liked it!

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  6. I have this book-starting problem too. I think it's like how I always eat a bite of each thing from my plate, too; my husband is one to finish each course separately. I like to have different experiences contrasting with each other. Which is fine, as long as it doesn't get out of hand!

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    1. Oh, I'm definitely out of control here, haha! But I'm definitely aiming to reign it in.

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  7. It's hard because there are so many good books out there! I try to only read 2-3 books at a time, but I'm actually juggling 4 books right now and I'm thinking of adding 2 more because of some reading challenges I'm interested in. Like you, I'm just going to see how June goes. Good luck with your reading! Hopefully you find one or two books you really love and can focus on this month.

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    1. Exactly! There are so many books that I want to read that I just get too excited finish those in front of me.

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  8. I too have a problem sometimes when I start reading a multitude of books and I find I just can't finish them. Usually it's not even because of the book, it's just other stuff in my life. It's really annoying because then I've started and stopped reading a ton of books and forget what's happened in each...
    I'm only reading three books at the moment and I'm hoping I won't start more... Good luck, I hope you get to the end of all of those books!

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    1. That's definitely something I'm coming up against with my reading... I'm finding that I have to go back at least a few chapters on a lot of these!

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  9. LOL what a great post! made me smile big :):):)
    YES! I used to have the same problem until I decided to sign up for gazillion book review tours. Now I have gazillion deadlines to meet and I HAVE to read one book after the other if I want to make it :)
    first time here. It was nice to stop by your blog. :)

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    1. Why, thank you! One of the main reasons I won't sign up for any of the book review tours is precisely because I know I can't count on finishing a book in time, haha! I'm glad it worked out for you, though! Thanks for checking out my blog :)

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