Write on Wednesday: U is for Unfinished

The Casual Vacancy.jpgA few months ago I finally bought a used copy of J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy. I was excited to finally have in my possession and dove in with abandon. After the first chapter, I put it down for what I thought would be a day; it turned into a week as I read another book. Following the completion of that book, I tried it again. This cycle of read a chapter, read a different book has continued until now, almost five months later, the books remains unfinished. Last night I picked it up and thought about trying to finish it before realizing that I don’t really care. Not about the story or the characters. If I do ever finish it, the reason will be wanting to avoid giving up.

I rarely walk away from books. Out of principle, I trudge through even the worst ones. However, there are a few that I just can’t ever seem to finish. And as a writer, I think there is something to be learned with every reading experience, even if it is just what not to do. I keep them in the back of my mind like badges of failure that I must conquer someday. Here are a few of my unfinished reading projects:

  1. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert–Just ugh. I love women’s travel writing, but I cannot finish this. It’s so self-indulgent and borderline Orientalist.
  2. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens–Some Dickens sweeps me in. This one makes me tired.
  3. Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon–I actually do not think I am smart enough for this book.
  4. Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner–Faulkner is usually hit or miss for me. Either I love it or it drives me crazy. This definitely falls in the crazy spectrum.
  5. Dune by Frank Herbert. Apologies, Sci-Fi lovers. I just can’t get into this one.

What about you, dear readers? What books remain unfinished in your world?



Categories: Get Smart, Life and Other Nonsense, Objects de Art, Write On | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Write on Wednesday: U is for Unfinished

  1. oaklawnlady

    For the A to Z Challenge, I took on authors and their books. The books chosen in our book club sometimes get read by all of us sometimes by only a few. For various reason we all prefer one book over another. We discuss the book just the same, liking or disliking it, then move on. If I didn’t really like a book I don’t think there’d be anything to cause me to pick it up and finish it. When we read for pleasure, I think the book should at least be enjoyable to complete. That’s my thoughts on it anyway.
    Kathy at Oak Lawn Images

    • I agree that we should read what we want to, especially when it’s for please. Perhaps grad school just taught me that I HAVE to finish every book because I might get something out of it. And sometimes, not often, I find that books may start out slowly but eventually find their pace and end up excellent. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Loved this post – and could relate to the idea of only worrying about unfinished books because I hate to be beaten!

    I’m grappling with The House of Rumour by Jake Arnott at the moment, plus The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Despite imaginative stories in both cases and huge popularity in the case of the latter, I just can’t seem to drum up the necessary enthusiasm to get through them. Certainly does niggle!

    • “I hate to be beaten!”–That’s exactly how I feel. I feel like I need to give a book a chance because maybe I just might like it if I try a little harder. And I loved The Shadow of the Wind but agree it’s a little tricky. Thanks for sharing!

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