Saturday, 14 April 2012

Half finished...

I have a confession to make. It is a shameful confession, especially for someone who studied "Eng Lit" for 3 years at Cambridge. But... I am a compulsive abandoner of books.

At present, our house is strewn with my literary detritus: by my side of the bed there are roughly half a dozen different books that I have begun and never finished. Many of them aren't even literary. Not in the true sense of the term. In fact, even when I was at university I was more predisposed to reading contemporary novels, barely considered literary in "Cambridge" circles. But now. Now, I am ashamed. If I were to tell you that the unfinished books by my bedside (in the spare room, on the bookshelf, in the magazine rack... maybe even in the kitchen) were such tomes as James Joyce's Ulysses, or even a Jane Austen or two, perhaps you (or even I) could forgive me. But they're not. In fact I daren't even tell you which books lay unread...

Let's just say that they didn't come from a library. And they didn't come from the 'canon' of English literature. In fact, they would feel entirely more at home in the book aisle of the supermarket.


What has the world come to? What is wrong with me? I spent 3 years of my life reading 'quality' prose, and now I am reduced to this? Half finished supermarket bestsellers? I hang my head in shame.

I feel that I should end this with a 'I promise to complete said books before committing to buying (or even borrowing) any new ones' but, well, I'm not sure I can do that. You see, the thing is, I like reading. But I also feel like I shouldn't have to make too much effort, or it's really not that pleasurable. I suspect it's a reaction to having to read and critique "Eng Lit" at university. And I know that sounds arrogant, but, for 3 years reading was a way of life, my raîson d'être, and now I feel like it needs to work for me, instead of me working for it. I want escapism. Good, quality, escapism. Sometimes that's trashy 'chick lit' or a best-selling thriller, sometimes it's more 'quality' literature, but whatever it is, if it doesn't hold my attention, well...

Any good book suggestions? Please let me know. I'll give anything a go, but can't promise to finish it.


  1. White swan, black swan by Adrienne Sharpe. Its a collection of fictional ballet related short stories that are super easy to read, full of drama and juicyness.

  2. Great - sounds like a good recommendation. I'll see if I can order it at my local library or on amazon marketplace. It sounds like the kind of book it doesn't matter if I finish or not!

  3. i'm having a similar problem!
    i realised the other day that i hadnt read a book in about a month, which anyone who knows me would never believe.
    Mainly because, i've been busy but secondly because i'm reading a book which just isn't that enthralling....but isnt quite bad enough for me to quit. I've carried it in my handbag everyday for a month but just feel to guilty too just give up on it....

    but i'm afraid the break-up is inevitable....i was never good at break ups.