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.


Web Explored are:

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

Be the first to comment

Your comments