Don’t half-finished books weigh on your conscience? Especially when they are worthy, or literary classics? I’m not talking here about unopened books on the bookshelf, but ones you make a good start on, maybe get halfway through, and then… you stop. You don’t mean to stop, but you just do, and somehow never manage to get going again.
I think my problem is I just have too many books on the go at one time. I always have an art tome in my bag, but also usually a history or biography. The heavyweight stuff is leavened with crime fiction. So sometimes it’s just a case of having become too distracted by something else, or leaving a book in a bag I suddenly don’t carry around for a while. Sometimes the book gets lost in the underworld of under our bed. The most annoying aspect is that these books really are very good; they have earned their place on the bookshelf, and so they stay there, because of course I will be finishing them one day.
Here are just some of my conscience twangers. I am well over halfway with all, and in the case of the Amos Oz, have one chapter left. For the avoidance of doubt, let me assure you these are great books. I really must finish them.
A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens); Age of Extremes (Eric Hobsbawn); Daniel Deronda (George Eliot), The Classical World (Robin Lane Fox), The Shock Doctrine (Naomi Klein), Byzantium Judith Herrin, The Great Transformation (Karen Armstrong), A Tale of Love and Darkness (Amoz Oz).
What are yours?