Since starting clock, I’ve noted the books I read. What is rare, for me, is starting but not finishing a book. Once I take the plunge, I will soldier on even through the worst writing and plot. Always. Well, almost.
Many, many years ago, on spring break in Floria, I started Gray Lady Down, by David Lavalle. I reached page 185, but then we left, and the book was property of the rental house we were staying in, so I left the book behind. And therefore a pretty normal submarine rescue thriller, later made into a movie I’ve never seen, became more memorable than many of the good books I’ve read, all because I didn’t finish it.
Recently, I pulled Lines of Fate, by Mark Kharitonov, off the shelf. This was a review copy I’ve carried around since 1995, when I picked it up at The Atlantic Monthly office. The dustjacket sold me, but when I finally started it a few week ago… well, too Russian for me. After twenty or so pages, I decided life was too short.
I have three or four other books that I have begun over the years, but still have yet to finish. My bedside table is a mix of what I’m currently reading, what I’m looking forward to read, and what I haven’t given up on… yet. Probably one category too many there.