Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Finishing the unfinished

Recently we were hit by the plague again in the house. Not long ago I was pondering how fortunate I'd been that Peanut had only had "the flu" once, and at that it was one evening of throwing up. So the gods decided to give me the big smack down for my hubris and we were hit twice (TWICE!) in the period of one month. Seriously folks, its enough to make a girl go insane. And did I mention I had the worst cold of my life between these two periods? I'm not usually the type to complain about my colds (probably again due to my good fortune in that they usually only last three days max) but this went on for two weeks. TWO WEEKS! (Who needs the Shred when you have a two-week cold.) So, um, yeah. Remind me not to go bragging about my good fortune again any time soon. Hear that ya'll? Lesson learned!

The one thing that I did start doing while bogged down with the various plagues that have swept over the household was take stock of some of my unfinished books. Now, it's no small secret that I'm a big reader, but since Peanut was born I've found myself with a ton of unfinished books. Sometimes it is an illness or some other distraction that causes a book to languish at my bedside - during the distraction I'll perhaps read something lighter, but after the distraction is all over I end up forgetting to pick up where I left off. Often it is the occasional trips we take, where I don't want to take a half finished book with me, or the book is too large to easily carry. I'll take something else, and before you know it another book has been added to the unfinished pile. Some of it is my own impatience these days - too little time, too much to read. I get distracted by the New! Shiny! Cover! and before you know it, well, you know. As this has gone on over the last several months, the pile has grown to ridiculous levels, and I'm feeling rather guilty about the whole situation. So I've resolved to start finishing a few of these books that have been set aside. Not only are many of them good books, and I do wish to know the end of the story, but I figure that there will be a definite feeling of accomplishment as I pick them off one by one.

So here's a list (to keep me honest) of some of the books I hope to add to my finished pile over the next few weeks. Yeah, it's a party all the time around these parts.
I'm sure that there are more kicking around, but right now these are the ones I'm committing to finishing.

So I'm curious, what do others do about unfinished books? Do you leave books unfinished, and if so, why? Do you go back and finish them eventually? Do you have to start from the beginning, or do you pick up where you left off?


Mamalooper said...

I have left more books unfinished since the girl was born 3 years ago. And I have a huge "to be read pile" that is really a bookshelf full of books.

I find that I have much less patience so it is easier to walk away from something less than stellar. I also read more trashy stuff in the midst of "good" literature.

Once upon a time I would finish a book no matter what but not now.

metro mama said...

I recently read the Omnivore's Dilemma, and I wish I hadn't! I wish I could go back to being blissfully unaware.

I rarely go back to an unfinished book anymore.

crazymumma said...

I build piles. Piles upon piles of unfinished books.

I love reading your voice again.

kgirl said...

I never left a book unfinished... until I had kids. Now, my time is too precious to waste on a book that is not engaging.

But still, I don't have an unfinished pile - I either finish it, or put it away for good. Either one is ok.

mamatulip said...

I hardly ever return to an unfinished book. I usually just move on to the next one and forget about it.

Lisor said...

Just finished Collapse by Jared Diamond...only one year after finishing it.

Hey, if you have such a big unfinished list, what gives with you borrowing 3 more books from me? I feel like I'm enabling you...I wonder if there is an Al-Anon for friends of the book addicted?

kittenpie said...

Right now I have two unfinished books, one I keep nibbling at and one that I'll probably pick up again when I go back to work. Usually, though, I either finish or give up.


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