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Coping with the Guilt of Unfinished Books

Feeling guilty because you didn’t finish a book you started.

A thing I recently thought about because I started Virginia Woolf’s Orlando but did not finish it. Despite reading 200 out of 235 pages.

Now, of course, this post isn’t about why I decided to abandon Orlando. Rather it’s about the silly guilt that attaches itself, like magnet to steel, when you leave a book partially read or unread. 

It’s an unnecessary burden that, in my case, is born from a sense of obligation. The guilt feels like another one of my self-imposed expectations.

Once begun, the journey must be seen through.

No, not necessarily. Not always. And not if you don't want to.

We all have reading preferences, and they’re always ever-evolving. So guilt, in this context, can be a real buzzkill. Don’t let it “question” your commitment, or the lack of it, to any narrative.

Not EVERY book you’re meant to read seamlessly from cover to cover. Sometimes, it’s okay to part ways, to admit that a book does not align with your current state of mind or literary choices.

An unfinished book isn’t a mark of failure but proof of the fluid nature of your reading journey.

As for reading journeys, each one is unique, just like the stories you pick.


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