Today, I was trying to read a book and had to put it down for a while and I couldn’t find any bookmarks. Usually, I dogear pages or put any paper to not lose my place, but I’m trying to be a better person and not end up in Hell – I’m aware that dog-earing pages is a mortal sin. But my bookmarks were nowhere to be found? Where had I put them? Later, I found out that they were in all the books I had started with the hopes of finishing BUT NEVER DID. I am in the middle of multiple books and I want to finish them. But I can’t? It was something I had experienced before starting my book blog – I started books and never finished them, until I decided I needed to. I followed a few tricks and guess what? I COULD FINISH THEM.
So, this post is for people like me – or mostly just for me – so that they are able to ACTUALLY finish the book they’ve started. I hope I’m able to help you out.
✨Know why you are not able to finish the books✨
This sounds like a difficult question to ask yourself, but in order to finish a book, the FIRST STEP would be to know why you are unable to finish it. There could be different reasons – I, personally, can’t force myself to read one book for too long. I’m a “mood reader” – I can’t read a book when I’m not in the mood to read particular themes or topics. For example, if I don’t feel like reading about wizards, I won’t be able to force myself to finish it.
Likewise, there could be multiple reasons why you’re not able to finish a book. Maybe you’re a mood reader like me. Maybe you tend to take a long time to read one book and you get bored reading the same thing for over a month, and you eventually STOP reading it. Maybe you don’t like the genre you previously liked anymore. Maybe the ideas that your favorite genre/category of books portray don’t excite you anymore. Maybe you don’t have enough time, plain and simple. Think of a reason behind you not being able to finish the book and work on it.
✨Try to work on it and fix your problem✨
You’ll say, “I would have done it if it was easy.” I know and I agree with you on this. It’s often very difficult to work on maintaining and strengthening good habits. But once you know WHY you aren’t able to read, fix your problem.If you don’t have enough time to read, you can do so many things about it: read shorter books, read while commuting, read on the toilet, listen to audiobooks, etc. If you lose your place in the book and eventually decide to just let it go, use bookmarks and dog-ear pages. If you get bored of reading the same book for so long, pick up tiny books with large fonts and FINISH it quickly. You can start reading on a weekend and finish a book if you are busy during the week.
✨ Ask yourself WHY you’re purchasing/loaning/requesting a book ✨
This is something I’ve found VERY helpful. Before, I used to buy books because I wanted to read them excitedly. I would devour them immediately -well, sometimes it made me feel guilty because I wanted to soak the book in. However, after starting a book blog, I started buying the books people were talking about – did I actually want to read them because I thought I would enjoy them/learn from them? That’s debatable. Sometimes, especially as book bloggers, we buy books that we don’t actually want to read just because of the hype. Heck, sometimes we request them from publishers because they are free without any intention of reading them immediately. If you think you are NOT interested in reading some books, is it worth it to start reading it in the first place?
✨Don’t buy books✨
I mean, I’m here to give you the tips to actually finish reading books and not STOP reading books… so, it kinds sounds wrong for me to tell you to not buy books? Let me tell you something that’s worked for me. My “to-be-read” pile consists of hundreds of books – around 20 of them are physical (bought, received, and loaned books), and the rest on Goodreads and my baby Kindle. When I look at them, I don’t feel like reading them because it confuses me – which one should I read first? How should I start reading them? Chances are YOU are the same? Even if you aren’t and you own more than a few books, chances are you don’t know which one to read first. So, don’t buy books. Go on a book-buying ban. Don’t buy anything until you finish reading what is on your pile.
✨Unhaul and DNF books✨
Sometimes, it’s necessary to stop reading a book, create some space between yourself and it when it’s not working. Sometimes it’s important to do so with multiple books without feeling guilty. Some books and genres aren’t meant for us. Try as we might, we always suffer while reading them and are never able to wrap our heads around their existence. For example, modern poetry as a genre usually doesn’t work for me. I have read and tried to enjoy those books, but I don’t gain any knowledge and I eventually feel guilty for reading them – I keep an open mind and maybe I will find books that ARE interesting and insightful and able to blow me away with their originality. However, I have decided to not read some of the modern poetry books I accumulated over the months/years because I cringe at the mere mention of them now and I’m not intersted in them. So, I “do-not-finish” (DNF) them and sometimes give them away to my pals. It’s important to not feel guilty about NOT finishing a book if you are unable to finish it. After all, reading is supposed to be an enjoyable activity.
✨ Change your reading environment and try to minimize distractions✨
I’m looking at you, Netflix. A lot of the time, we can’t figure out why we’re finding it difficult to read. Maybe we enjoy our Netflix series more? Sometimes it can be music, your family, your boyfriend or girlfriend, or a lovemate. Anything or anybody could distract you.If possible, try to minimize your distractions… I mean, it’s possible for those of us who tend to scroll through our social media feeds instead of reading or instead watch a movie. You could instead go and sit in a park under a tree and focus on reading. If café noises make you focus, do that instead. Take frequent breaks. Do what works for you the best.
✨Don’t be so hard on yourself✨
The most important think you need to know is, it’s OKAY if you can’t finish a book. Sometimes it’s harder for some of us – some of us can’t commit to reading a 300-page tome because it requires a lot of time and attention and we don’t have enough of it. I see and hear y’all. It is more difficult for those who struggle with mental and physical illnesses and disabilities.I just want to tell you that it’s okay – reading can be done however you do is. It is still valid even if you read 1 page a day or 100 pages a day. It is done for your enjoyment and learning, so as long as you’re enjoying and caring for yourself, what you’re doing is great. You are more important than anything – just don’t be so hard on yourself. ❤