Friday, October 29, 2010

Unfinished Business

Have you ever read a book that you just. couldn't. finish.

I'm not talking about a bad, boring book, or one that is required reading. Those are easily tossed aside. I'm talking about a good book that you know you want to read and is about something interesting, but for some reason you've having problems chewing your way through it. I occasionally have this happen to me, and it's happening right now.

I'm reading a book called Black Shirt: Sir Oswald Mosley and the British Fascism. I'm fascinated by this movement in history--along with the Spanish Civil War--and this is a figure I'm genuinely interested in, and yet...for some reason every time I go to read it, I get through a page, maybe two, in one sitting before I have to quit. It's certainly not a badly written book, nor is there any particular reason why I shouldn't be plowing through it.

 I wish I knew how to start you.

Occasionally, there is a legitimate reason for this. There have been several books that I absolutely love, but for whatever reason about halfway through the book I have to stop--finals time in college, a family situation, etc. Then, a few months later when I go back to get into it, I can't. I'm usually torn between refreshing myself by skimming through the first half of the book, or just picking up where I left off. Of course, at that point, my enthusiasm for reading a book I know I'm going to like has waned dramatically. This happened to me to Team of Rivals, a book I swear I will finish one day.

Of course, not helping me is the fact that I'm a hopeless OCD freak and when I start a book I have to finish it no matter what before I start a new book. I've gotten better,  but I still have a Guilt Pile of books on my shelf of uncompleted tasks. And it still bothers me when I put a book on "hold" like that. Someday the OCD gnome is gonna come and wake me up and serve me with a summons. I just know it.

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