Getting to "The End"

Last time on the blog I asked readers if they always finish books they are reading or if they put them down if they're not enjoying them enough. I was surprised at the results of my mini-survey. I know it's not a statistically significant sample, but of the seven people who responded, five said they always finish the book.

Maybe my survey just says more about the people who read my blog. But I am very happy to take their advice.

Their reasons? They wanted to know the ending. They wanted to give the book a decent chance even if they didn't like it at first, and by then they were too invested to not want to finish.

"A finished book is not a waste of time but a notch on your belt that you can be proud of," said one. "Unfinished books look at me like dirty laundry or naked light bulbs needing shades."

 Another one added, "I'm no quitter!"

And the two that said they didn't always finish, one at least peaked at the last 30 pages or so to find out the ending.

I guess the question to ask myself is: why I am reading that book in the first place?

I've been a member of a book club now for 13 years. And although the reasons for belonging are numerous, one is that it forces me to read books I wouldn't always pick up. There have been so many books over the years that I have loved in spite of myself -- and many of them seem to fall into the science fiction category. For some reason I don't think I like science fiction, but apparently I do (those that spring to mind are Isaac Asimov short stories, Ender's Game, Ready Player One and The Martian).

And sometimes when I haven't finished the book by the meeting -- and I am notorious for finishing books on the tube on the way there (hey journalists need deadlines to get anything done!) -- I do finish reading it after the meeting. Particularly after I have heard everyone talking about it. I don't even mind spoilers. I find I'm never reading a book to find out how it ends. It's almost not important to me. Instead it's all about the reading experience,which is potentially why I do find it difficult to finish a book I'm not enjoying.

But as an aspiring long-form writer, I need to be reading a lot more than I am.

So I'm prepared to do an experiment on myself in 2017. I'm going to try reading all books I start to the end, no matter what. Also because if it's a book I want to read I'm clearly reading it for a reason.

At the moment I am reading three. And if you want to see what I am reading, you can find me on Goodreads -- under "Taron". You can be sure it's me by the photo where I am accompanied by a large plate of mozzarella sticks. (Although do let me know if I should be posting my short reviews on the blog as well.)

Book group meets this Tuesday and I'm only 48% of the way through the book. Looks like it's going to be a busy reading weekend for me.

Photo credit: allbooks via photopin (license)

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