If there’s one thing I’m proud of, it’s my ‘read’ shelf on Goodreads. Right now it stands at 375, which isn’t too shabby for the 5 years I’ve been a member of the site. Reading is a constant for me; I always have at least one book on my nightstand that I’m excited to pick up. And I’m not above bragging that I’m a devout reader in these days of binge-watching and not being able to read more than 140 characters. But there have been a few times that I’ve been completely stuck. And right now is one of them.
I started a GREAT series a couple months ago and I’m about 50 pages away from the end of the final book. And I just can’t finish. I’ve read at least 5 other books while that one sad book lies on my nightstand, begging me to pick it up. And it’s not that I didn’t enjoy the series – I did. The writing is gorgeous, the story is intriguing, but I just…can’t. Here’s the problem though: I’ve never not finished a book. HELP!
The book in question is the third book in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, Dreams of Gods & Monsters. This series is amazing! Laini Taylor could write a manual for a refrigerator and I would read it because her descriptions and characters are so provoking. I want to be Karou, I would totally do Akiva, and I want to be best friends with Zuze and Mik. There’s nothing wrong with this book – the problem completely lies with me…I’m just over it. I don’t know if I’ll finish this book. And I’m not sure if that’s ok with me.
Here’s the problem: this book is dense. It’s not a fluff book that you can speed read and still get the gist. Maybe that’s what I need right now. While Dreams of Gods & Monsters is gathering dust, I’ve read at least 5 other books. There was Boozy Book Club to think of, so What Happened and One of Us is Lying had to be read. So that was my initial excuse…but those have been read and analyzed and still, I procrastinate.
Then there was a great book deal on two books from Penny Reid’s Winston Brothers series, and somehow without my knowledge, those were on my kindle and two days later I was on my third book of the series. I love Penny Reid, and her books are romance at it’s best – a meet-cute, a sprinkle of drama, but always a happy ending (bonus: her leading ladies have dimension and a great sense of humor). Which is what I’m looking for when I read romance, and it doesn’t hurt that two of these brothers are redheads and we all know how much we appreciate a ginger here at That’s Normal.
Then there’s the ever-present threat of television. The second season Stranger Things just came out, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend is back, I still have so many episodes of 90 Day Fiance to watch, and Mindhunter is right up my alley. So I find myself avoiding books altogether because I can’t face my shame. Plus, it’s nice to give my wrists a rest. Side note: has anyone found a natural way to hold a kindle?!
But the question remains, why am I seeking out new books or avoiding them altogether when I have one yet to be finished? I guess my little brain can’t handle tales of angels and demons in this political climate (although maybe some supernatural intervention could help right about now…). So why do I feel guilty?
To Finish, or Not to Finish
To solve my finishing problem (Emily, get your mind out of the gutter!), I’m taking it to the streets. I need to know what my other readers think on this subject. To me, it’s pretty touchy. On one hand, life is too short to read bad books. But on the other, it can’t hurt to expand your mind – good or bad. Plus, the book I’m stuck on is not bad. We’ve raved about it on That’s Normal before, and it even made Beth’s Best Books of 2014. So let’s take a poll: Is it perfectly normal to leave a book unfinished? Will the book gods not strike me down? Should I take this to the next level of petty and make a DNF list on Goodreads to spread my un-asked for opinions around?