The Books I Haven’t (Yet) Finished

Unfinished; The Great Transformation

Unfinished but not forgotten; The Great Transformation

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?

5 responses to The Books I Haven’t (Yet) Finished

  1. Hmm, interesting list. My walk of shame….
    ‘Place of Greater Safety’ by Hilary Mantel, ‘Grace Williams Says it Loud’ by Emma Henderson, ‘Mao, The Untold Story’ by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday, ‘Hitler and Stalin’ by Allan Bullock……

  2. Alex L.

    Yes, my name is Alex and I am a fair-weather reader.

    Currently partly-shelved or partly-shoved (to the bottom of the Kindle queue) depending on the media:
    “Flying Fury: Five Years in the Royal Flying Corps” (David McCudden), “Adventures of Augie March” (Saul Bellow), “Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard” (C. & D. Heath), “Silent Victory: The U.S. Submarine War Against Japan” (Clay Blair).

    • gillianholding – Author

      Another varied mix! Maybe this tendancy reflects the fact when one reads pretty widely, it is really easy to switch mmod and thus books…

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