This reading habit is something I’d self-diagnosed over the past few years, but this was the first time I had admitted it to anyone. I worry that perhaps it’s a symptom of some larger weakness of character or fatal atrophy of the intellect. On my bedside table, there’s a precarious column of half-read paperbacks that taunts me with the evidence of my own readerly promiscuity. The reason I don’t finish books is not that I don’t like reading enough; it’s that I like reading too much. I can’t say no. I’ll be reading a novel and thoroughly enjoying it. Then I’ll be in a bookshop and I’ll see something I’ve been anticipating, and I’ll buy it. I’ll start reading the new book on the bus home that evening, and that will be the end of the original affair. I’m certainly invested in the relationship with the book that I’m currently reading, but I can’t help myself from pursuing whatever new interest happens to turn my head. Perhaps that’s just a tortuous way of admitting to being a pathetic serial book-adulterer who’ll chase after anything in a dust jacket.

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