Half read books no more

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero

The first week of December is coming to a close, and I recently was reminded of my list of goals for this past year.  One goal was to read 48 books, doubled from last year’s number.  When I looked of my list of books read in my journal, I realized it it was only 31.  I have less than one month to go.  A fire ignited staring at that measly number.  A new plan shaped into action.. I may not be able to read 17 new books by the end of this month, but I could begin to finish many of my half read books this year.

You know how this works.  You begin to read a book, it’s exciting, but somehow your interest wanes.  Life limits the amount of reading time available with either less time commuting on a train, more time talking on the phone, or longer work schedules with less mental capacity to read.   What generally is the case, is another book may come along that seems more fitting in your life.  This latter fact has been true for both of the modalities I choose to read:audible and tangible books.  But this week, I am determined to at least finish those that are nearing completion. In the past two days, I have finished four books and am adding two more to the list.  I expect to complete these by tomorrow evening.  Nothing makes me feel more accomplished than completing a book that has been sitting bookmarked for months.

These unfinished books tend to taunt and haunt me.  I like to view myself as an educated, cultured, and curious individual.  Half read books are a reminder of the lack of discipline to achieve my goals and dive deeper into a subject.  I’m a shopaholic when it comes to purchasing books, but it doesn’t seem right at this moment to buy more if there are so many that remain incomplete on my shelf.  A friend of mine faces a similar disorder.  He states that his ADD is only apparent when he seems to be simultaneously reading five books concurrently, and cannot focus on one.

The solution is finish reading books in their entirety.

I know it has been suggested by some individuals, that it is okay to not complete reading books.  Why waste your time on something that doesn’t interest you? Although this may hold true on occasion, don’t let this lesson rule your extended reading lists.  Read a book until the last page (yes it’s okay if you skip the acknowledgements section.)  Track the books you read each year, including author and title.  Re-reading books count.  It’s a luxury to dive into a favorite, most likely we may get more out of it the second and third time around.

What I have noticed with focusing on reading these incomplete books, is I have been spending less time online.  I am not seeking out as much useless facts or questions I temporarily have, and sinking deeper into the exploration of these various authors’ well researched knowledge.

Read books to completion. Take note of what you have read this year. And then slowly allow the sense of accomplishment to exude from your being.

How many titles have you completed this year? What do you most recommend?

“Reading was my escape and my comfort, my consolation, my stimulant of choice: reading for the pure pleasure of it, for the beautiful stillness that surrounds you when you hear an author’s words reverberating in your head.”
― Paul Auster, The Brooklyn Follies

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