I have a problem. (Yeah, yeah, admitting it is the first step to recovery.) My problem is this: I hate not finishing things.
I’m pretty sure I developed this trait when I was a teenager. I was sick for a while so for a couple of years there I didn’t finish anything. And when I got better again I kind of veered in the opposite direction. And now if I don’t finish something I get twitchy about it.
This is fine if it’s like a university degree or something that it’s good to have motivation toward finishing. It’s bad if it’s a book. Because sometimes, even if you absolutely refuse to pick something up without a rock solid recommendation,* sometimes you’re going to find something that just isn’t that great. Or maybe it just doesn’t work for you. Or it starts out strong and then deteriorates. And that’s fine. Whatever. It happens.
What’s less fine is when you finish reading it anyway. When you find out it’s part of a series and feel guilty about not reading the rest of the books. When you keep picking them up out of a bizarre sense of obligation.
And I think, honestly, I’d keep doing it except there are so many good things in the world that I haven’t read yet that I just don’t have time to spend with the not-so-good. So I’ve decided to give up on this completionist thing. To learn to put down books that I’m no longer thrilled by and just… let. them. go.
Now, of course, I just need to figure out how…
* Which, let’s be honest, isn’t remotely true. I’ll pick up a book because someone mentioned it once and I can’t remember what they said. Because I tripped over it. Because someone left it on my desk. Because it acted all coy in the bookshelf with its flirty little cover and… you get the idea.