I’ve started so I’ll finish

Our lives are controlled by the things we believe and we’re not totally aware of everything we believe. Our beliefs can be revealed to us in the little phrases and sayings that we like to use. One of mine is ‘I’ve started so I’ll finish’ and variations on that theme. The belief is that if I’ve started something I should finish it. While that can be a useful piece of advice, because some things are better finished, it can more often be a source of stress. It is not true that everything should be finished. The things that are unfinished because I no longer want to do them become part of a to-do list which can get overwhelming.

Sometimes, the best thing to do is to admit you’re never going to finish something and get rid of it. So, in the spirit of making my life less stressful, I’ve been through book mountain and found thirteen books I’m not going to finish reading.

1. A Time of Exile by Katherine Kerr. I picked it up from the book drop at work as I needed something to read on the way home. I read about fifty pages and I’m not going to read any more. I don’t like the style of writing – it’s too high fantasy for my taste. Back to the book drop.

2. Dark Secret by Christine Feehan. I actually got three-quarters of the way through this, but one day I put it down and didn’t pick it up again. It’s paranormal romance and I don’t like the highly traditional gender roles advocated by the book. Charity bag.

3. Labyrinth by Kare Mosse. This was given to me and I do think it’s the polite thing to do to read something given to you. But I tried and I just didn’t engage with it. Charity bag.

4. The Historian by Elisabeth Kostova. See above.

5. & 6. Magic Study and Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder. These are parts two and three of a trilogy I foolishly bought all together. I read the first one, Poison Study, and I really didn’t like it. I haven’t been able to bring myself to read the other two. Charity bag.

7. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry. I bought this because a friend raved about it. That was before I read Captain Corelli’s Mandolin on his recommendation and realised I hate his taste in books. Charity bag.

8. Winterbirth by Brian Ruckley. I’ve made two attempts at this and I just can’t get into it. To me, it seems like a massive, poorly executed, rip-off of Game of Thrones. Charity bag.

9. Medusa Rising by Cindy Dees. It’s Mills & Boon with a modern military setting. Did. Not. Like. Charity bag.

10. Once by James Herbert. It started off ok but got really slow in the middle. Once I’d stopped reading it I developed an aversion to starting it again. Charity bag.

11. “Dumbth” by Steve Allen. I understand this man is supposed to be funny. I don’t think so. The premise is interesting – 101 ways to think better – and there are some great concepts in here. Unfortunately it’s all conveyed covered in nasty, judgemental, mean-spirited mocking of people perceived by the author as stupid, rude or uneducated. Reading it was a horrible experience. I want to burn it.

12. Wolf of the Plains by Conn Iggulden. Should be the sort of thing I would enjoy, but the writing wasn’t great. It is heavy on exposition and I got bored. Charity bag.

13. Wildwood by Roger Deakin. This one I’m actually a little sad about. I so wanted this to be good, but I’ve given it a couple of tries and I was bored by it. I know someone who wants to read it and hopefully he will enjoy it.

4 thoughts on “I’ve started so I’ll finish

  1. I used to struggle through books I didn't enjoy, until it occurred to me that I'm never going to have time to read all the books I want to, in my lifetime, so it's only practical to only read good stuff 🙂

  2. If I'm not enjoying a book I'll put it down, but I won't get rid of it. It reminds me that not everyone will like everything.Also, I may get back to it someday and enjoy it. I hated Far From the Madding Crowd at school and then enjoyed it as an adult.

  3. Well, last year I was committed to finishing things because I was doing the 100 books challenge. And also because I was trying to read as a writer. But I guess that understanding why I get stuck with certain books is a good writing lesson as well. @Martin – Hardy is definitely not for kids and should only be broached in adulthood!

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