I’ve noticed that generally, I either love something or hate something… There isn’t much in-between. Some might say this contributes to the somewhat popular opinion that I’m an “intense” person. (I hope that that’s a compliment.) I mean, I really, really love a lot of things. But I’ll tell you one thing that I absolutely hate…
I hate not finishing things.
Be it a journal that didn’t have every last page filled with words, or a cup of coffee from which I didn’t sip every last drop, unfinished things just feel like lost or wasted effort and a broken commitment. And this brings me to my real point – I really, REALLY do not like leaving a book unfinished.
I went for a very long time reading every single page of every book that I picked up, even if I hated the book. I had decided that I had started it, so it was almost like making a promise to myself that I would finish it. For the great books, this was such an easy promise to keep. And really, for the terrible books, I thought I would feel like at the end “Well, even though that sucked pretty hard, at least I won’t wonder how it ends, and I can add another book to the ‘read’ list.” It seemed like if I didn’t finish, I would’ve wasted all of that time up until quitting, and wouldn’t have anything to show for it, so to speak.
Recently, I started a book, and I was really quite excited to read it. But now, you see, I’m about 100 pages in, and I don’t like it. I think it’s a lazy story, and now I’m starting to feel like I’m wasting my time in continuing to read it, and there are so many more wonderful, GOOD books that I could be spending my time reading instead. This isn’t the first time this has happened, of course, but I think this book has finally changed my mind about how I feel about unfinished books. Funny how our opinions change sometimes as time goes on.
So, I’ve decided to put this book aside. That’s right. STOP reading it. And it sort of feels like the beginning of a new promise to myself – to stop wasting time with stories that don’t inspire, move, or motivate me… move on to things worth while, because a broken commitment to something that isn’t really worth the time seems like a good commitment to break. And ya know, that really feels like a much better promise anyway. (And applicable to so many other parts of life, too, don’t you think?)
What about you? Do you have inner turmoil when you want to quit a book?