That Book You Just Can't Seem To Finish...
I think we've all been there. We have a book that we genuinely are enjoying. The story is good, it's well written, and the flow is working. But then, despite everything going for it, you still can't seem to finish it. You like the book, you really do, but there's some weird convergence of events that always seems to derail you whenever you try and finish it.
Right now, for me, it's a book called The Dwarves. Translated (quite well) from German to English, it hits a lot of the right notes for me. As a lover of fantasy all my life, this gritty story of an underdog hero sets a tone that I can get behind. Also, as a card carrying member of Team Gimli, having Dwarves play the role of protagonist and hero, rather than sidekick or worse yet, comic relief, is a welcome change. The characters are rich, the narrative strong, and the story compelling.
And yet, I first started reading it in 2010, and I have yet to finish. For more than 5 years, this book has sat on my shelf, being pulled off every few months for another go. Inevitably though, it goes back on the shelf, unfinished. I don't remember what the events are that led to me shelving the book each time, but I imagine they probably look like this:
- Got a new book! I should wait until I finish the old one... I really should...
- Aw man, work is cray cray. I better focus for bit. I can read later.
- Must. Play. World. Of. Warcraft.
- Sigh... I'm feeling down. I need something perkier to read right now.
- Woot! I'm feeling great! No time to read right now, I've gotta embrace LIFE!
- Hey you know what I love that I haven't done in a long time? Read comics!
And so forth.
And here's the rub. Here's why I never make any real progress. Why I'm still holding onto this book 5 years later, still struggling to finish it. Whenever I make another attempt, I have to start at the beginning. I can't try and pick it up at where I left off. I need to make it a fresh read. I need to start over, rereading events that I've read a dozen times over. I have no idea why, but that's just the way it is.
(For the record, I do the same thing with video games. Whenever I start playing an old game I never finished, I start over from the beginning)
I remain determined though. I will finish this book. I will make it to the end, and if the entire ride is enjoyable, I will move onto the other books in this series. It's just a matter of remaining determined and following through on the read. The Dwarves will be removed from my "To Read" shelf, and move over to the "Finished Reading" shelf! I...
Wait a second... What book is that? Ooooo, that looks good!