The Husband always finishes a book once he’s started it. He moans and criticises sometimes but always sees it through to the bitter end and then chucks it aside with a ‘well that wasn’t worth the effort’. I, on the other hand, frequently ditch books halfway through. my bedside table has a stack, all with bookmarks sticking out part way through. I tell myself I’ll go back to them but I almost never do.
It’s no indicator of the quality of the writing either. I’m particularly ashamed of not finishing Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel which is an incredible piece of story-telling and so beautifully written but I was two-thirds of the way through, put it down for a week or so and somehow never managed to go back to it. Maybe it’s because it has quite a unique style in terms of reported speech. Maybe it’s because school history lessons meant that there was unlikely to be anything unexpected happening plot-wise. Whatever, that break meant that I have never returned to it and – equally shamefully – I’m taking the view that once I’ve watched the forthcoming TV series I probably needn’t worry about it.
Currently on the unfinished pile are Amy Poehler’s Yes Please, Us by David Nichols and Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake by the marvellous Anna Quindlen – mind you, the latter is a collection of articles and so I can claim that I’m dipping in now and again rather than admit that I’ve abandoned it. All great books (I’m not going to tell you about the ones I’ve given up on because they didn’t grab me or because some jarring error put me off) but sadly accumulating dust and reproaching me every time I pick up a new book rather than returning to them.
Are you a book finisher like The Husband or as fickle as I am?