Web Explored: Half-Read Books and Other Stories

Half-read Books - Digital View on Summer (Aug)

Do you have half-read books?  This col­lec­tion of sto­ries pre­sent­ed, this month, in Web Explored is rather dif­fer­ent than nor­mal. The usu­al source of this post are the var­i­ous blogs around the web with inter­est­ing things to read. The idea — If I found them inter­est­ing, then I should share. 🙂 


There are prob­a­bly thou­sands of writ­ers who write about var­i­ous aspects of writ­ing. The rea­son for cre­at­ing this cat­e­go­ry was because I explore the web almost every day. Often search­ing for one top­ic or anoth­er. Per­haps with a view to writ­ing about it, per­haps for my own edu­ca­tion. We can always learn some­thing from some­one else. This is the essence of Web Explored. To bring pages from which we can all learn. Enjoy this selec­tion of thoughts from around the world.


Half-Read Books


Half-Read books by Peter Giblett

Michael Cris­tiano gives us this month’s start­ing piece “5 Rea­sons why I Leave a Book Half-read”. He says “I’ve fall­en out of love” or “I’ve decid­ed to take some space”. Well there are two good rea­sons on their own. I was talk­ing about half-read books not so long ago, but my thoughts were sur­round­ing works of non-fiction.


Cristiano’s thoughts relate to fic­tion and we should pay atten­tion to them. If you are writ­ing a nov­el they are impor­tant point­ers of things you need to get right.


We all have half-read books. Think about it for a moment. When you want­ed the recipe for Beef Ragout, you looked it up in a recipe book. Few peo­ple read the whole book, they often skim through look­ing for the items of inter­est, Sunday’s meal. From this point this sub­ject takes a dif­fer­ent direc­tion. I want­ed to see if oth­er writ­ers have con­sid­ered the sub­ject and link in some of their thoughts. Indeed, half-read books, has tak­en over this edi­tion of Web Explored, but I promise oth­er good­ies later.


Serious Journals…


Dusty Books by DevilsApricot CC0 Public Domain from PixabayAdri­an Tahour­din on the Times Lit­er­ary Supli­ment Blog. Says of this sub­ject “Half-read books? Don’t you hate them? They sit in piles on your desk or bed­side table, gath­er­ing dust. Every now and again you brush them down and remind your­self how far you got: ten pages in? halfway? near the end, but you fell on the last lap? Should you try again?”


I have three on my desk, which I am slow­ly work­ing through and one on my bed­side cab­i­net. One of the pos­i­tive things about a half-read book is that you can place them in ‘reminder spots’ around your home and office. An E-book is for­got­ten as soon as we close the app. When the app opens next time, it is more like­ly to open with the library of books. Thus most are half-read.


Jen Doll in The Atlantic calls this syn­drome “The Qui­et Shame of the Half-Book Read­er”. Appar­ent­ly “some peo­ple are plagued with guilt about the books they’ve left undone”. Don’t think I agree, but I will go along with this thought for now.


She does go on to say “I am an unabashed­ly proud leaver of half-fin­ished books, and even more ter­ri­ble, I have books all over my apart­ment and office that I haven’t even start­ed”. Yes that is clos­er to how I feel about it. Books exist to savour. I used to read a nov­el quick­ly, but they have grown for­ev­er longer.


How­ev­er I am a proud leaver of half-read fac­tu­al works. I won’t say they are scat­tered all over my house but they exist on book shelves, in a log­i­cal order.


Interesting Mix…


The site Her Life With Books goes on to list sev­en half-read books. This is an inter­est­ing mix (see below). Ruth Lil­lian Foulis adds “I have a big stack of half-read books, a long time TBR list of books I’ve put down for some rea­son and nev­er picked up again”.

Her Life with Books List

I am not propos­ing a cure here to the “To Be Read” pile. Sim­ply not­ing that this will be a con­stant chal­lenge for the book lover. We love to build our libraries. We are con­stant­ly read­ing, but we also con­stant­ly put the book down. As soon as we put it down, it is half-read.


Live your Leg­end sug­gests “7 Quick Steps to Fin­ish­ing a Non-Fic­tion Book in Half the Time While Retain­ing Twice as Much” which should cer­tain­ly be a cure. and each of these are inter­est­ing steps. the author says “It is the first expo­sure to some­thing (a sport, game, dat­ing, you name it) that requires the most care and time” they there­fore sug­gest that we should pre­view the mate­r­i­al on offer, because we “do some­thing bet­ter or quick­er when we do it for the sec­ond, third or fourth time.” An inter­est­ing thought.


Reinvent Your Career, Blogging


career path - applicable to the writer?Blog­ging has quick­ly become one of the most pop­u­lar ways of com­mu­ni­cat­ing and spread­ing infor­ma­tion and news.” Says Meridith Dennes on Project Eve. She cov­er the top­ic from the very first ques­tion. Start a Blog – What Do I Blog About? I agree you should write about things you enjoy, whether pro­fes­sion­al­ly or per­son­al­ly. The sug­ges­tions Dennes pro­vides are excel­lent and practical.


They all relate to things I have learned while start­ing my blogs. This advice comes from a career web­site, but is still very prac­ti­cal and relevant.


Lau­ren Bowl­ing in the Huff­in­g­ton Post in How I Made $38,000 From Blog­ging (and Launched My Career!) Talks about the same chal­lenge. Spon­sored posts and coach­ing seem good idea from my per­spec­tive. I have been explor­ing the con­cept of cre­at­ing a train­ing course, here on Gob­blede­Goox and will be talk­ing more about this soon


Show, Not Tell


In “How to Show, Not Tell” Geor­gio Kon­stan­di dis­cuss­es tech­niques of how to show peo­ple the aspects of the char­ac­ters in their fic­tion­al novels.


How do you por­tray them as a psy­chopath, yet nev­er use that word? He sug­gests writ­ers, “CONSIDER writ­ing a scene in which the char­ac­ter in ques­tion makes an irra­tional deci­sion or action, thus giv­ing the impres­sion that he/she’s deranged.” This can be a small scene, per­haps only a few para­graphs when intro­duc­ing the char­ac­ter. It is the read­er that will then draw the appro­pri­ate con­clu­sion about the character.


The method of “show, not tell” is used in many aspects of writ­ing and is as applic­a­ble to non-fic­tion­al writ­ing as it is to fiction.


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Thoughts col­lect­ed from, or about, web-based arti­cles select­ed for you by Peter B. Giblett. Recent posts include:
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