Being A Compulsive Book Finisher

What a title for a blog post, huh? Sounds terribly sinister. It´s almost as if I see this as some chronic disease- The book finishing disease. Hmm, okay. Sounds more like a first world problem than anything else, to be honest. But hey- Trust me on this one… It´s a true struggle. I just never gave this much thought because you sometimes don´t think about these things, you know? Not until you see something on the internet that reminds you of a problem you once had.

I stumbled upon an article the other day with the title It´s Okay to Give Up on Mediocre Books Because We´re All Going to Die.  

The second thing that made me stop was the tagline:

 

`Life’s too short to force yourself to finish books you don’t enjoy`

 

I can advise anyone who loves to read to take a few minutes to read this because it´s truly interesting.

The title and tagline, both, had me thinking about my own reading habits. Do I finish every book I start even if it´s really not my cup of tea?

I was that person. I was a compulsive book finisher. I forced myself to finish a book even if I wasn´t feeling the story. And I know why I did it. I know exactly how this reading habit started, too.

If I dig deep enough I find that I can put the majority of the blame on book blogging, or with the way I blogged.

I wasn´t always a compulsive book finisher. But I quickly became one through the book blogging business.

To make a long ( a very long ) story short: Sometime during the first half of my book blogging career, I noticed I was reading fewer bestseller books and more books from indie/self – published writers. Not at all what I had planned on doing. This eventually led to me accepting ARCs and even beta reading for authors. My book blogging schedule was filled to the brim, folks.

One can´t be too mad about receiving free books, right? But one can develop an unhealthy reading habit by accepting many advanced reader´s copies & agreeing to beta read.

“It´s amazing how you can read three books in a week!”

People would say this to me all the time. There were two things these people didn´t know and still don´t understand:

 

  1. Reading an Arc isn´t always fun. It´s an exchange. You receive an advanced copy of a book and have to present a review afterward. Beta reading for an author can be even less amusing because they need your detailed feedback.
  2. It´s even less amazing when you don´t like what you´re reading.

 

It´s actually comparable with watching a movie or a TV show you´re just not that in to but you force yourself to keep watching because you want to be able to talk about it afterward. Only, you have no agreement with the actors or directors. There´s no one eagerly waiting for your opinion. You do have an agreement with publishers and authors, though. Even if it´s a simple verbal, via chat agreement- You read and give feedback. You pay attention to what you´re reading.

Skimming wasn´t even an option. Some authors wanted to know specific thoughts regarding their book for whatever scenes they wrote. Imagine an author asking for your opinion on the 67th sex scene and you can´t give feedback because you skipped that particular part. Dreadful.

This is when I made it my mission to force myself to finish every book I started. And that has stuck with ever since.

So, through book blogging, I turned myself into a compulsive book finisher.  No matter how awful I thought the ARC or beta copy was- I pulled through, all for the sake of… I can´t remember. Was it because I had a shining reputation I couldn´t afford to lose? Maybe because I hate breaking off agreements? Who knows.

Am I mad about this? Well, I´m certainly not happy. As it is with any unhealthy habit- It´s hard to kick. When I realized what I was doing to myself I pulled the breaks.  Because who in their right mind would force themselves to read a book they don´t enjoy?

 

 

Me

 

 

Even though I´ve somewhat freed myself from needing to finish every book I still catch myself continuing a book I´m not enjoying ( then end up finishing it because I´m too far in ).  As I said before – It´s a hard habit to kick. Sometimes I have no trouble stopping a book on page 50  and sometimes I don´t realize what I´m doing until it´s too late.

 

`Life’s too short to force yourself to finish books you don’t enjoy`

I wholeheartedly agree with this tagline. Books are meant to entertain us. We´re meant to enjoy what we read. We´re not meant to push ourselves through something we don´t like.


 


 

 

On A Kind Note:  I don´t blame self – published authors nor do I blame beta copies for my own stupidity. I made a conscious choice back then without fully understanding the possible outcomes. It was a mistake easily made.

On Another Kind Note:  I also don´t see being a compulsive book finisher as a life-threatening issue. In my case, it´s just another annoying habit. It doesn´t affect my life in a negative way nor does it keep me from enjoying other things. I don´t accept ARCs anymore, though. Same with beta reading.

 


 

Let´s chat:

Do you finish books you don´t enjoy? Are you a compulsive book finisher? 

Share away in the comments below.

 


 

As always, thank you for taking the time to read my post. I really appreciate it.

Much book love,

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