In the claustrophobic throes of modernity, where legions of young people proclaim their distaste for and general boredom towards reading, it is unusual to be part of the minority that regularly picks up a book. What is even more peculiar is to finish every book one selects, regardless of the content and capacity for enjoyment.
I read constantly and will dutifully finish every book I start. At times it feels like torture, and one fairly recent choice was not far from the mark, but I slogged through anyway, determined to see the last page before casting it aside. I do this for a variety of reasons, but mostly because the alternative seems like an awful waste: piles of unfinished books destined to be ignored or thrifted just so they are out of sight.
When I start a book I approach it as a life experience of sorts. Given my schedule I have infinitely more time to read than I do for regular physical excursions, so often between the pages I am finding a way to fill the gaps forged by the busybodyness of life. You work, you commute, you try to scheme for some better way out of the devil’s mill; the answer always appears near, but also millions of kilometers away. A book can be a solace of sorts, but when you set it down prematurely it is tantamount to quitting. After all, you had just a few pages left.
In the event you do give up, that half-completed project will forever grace the library, campfire ashes, or the back of the mind, a symbol of capitulation without giving it all you can. The unfinished book is simply further proof that you are taking an easier road in life, much like the person who uses excuses to avoid working out each day. Rarely is anyone unable to fulfill such obligations to their extents, but the cheap wine of lackadaisical living fuels their weaknesses.
On the other hand a book followed to the end is proof of a small achievement in life. With potentially varying levels of attentiveness the reader has invested enough time to bring the two ends together and knows that, no matter what the future holds, he will never have to look back with occasional unease and contemplate what could have been, if only there had existed a sliver of additional perseverance. Coupled with other individual successes, reading a book in its entirety makes for a stronger person who can hold themselves accountable in efforts both large and small.
If you start a tome, make sure to finish it. Life is better that way, both for yourself and the droning masses who might for second be inspired to emulate you.