The Unread Book

To put down a half read book is like living half a love affair. You may have gone through some of the joys, some of the heartache but you haven’t lived it all. You’re not able to put it down and look back at it all; maybe smile at it, more than likely miss it but if you haven’t gone through it all then you’ll never be able to say you’ve lived it.

Book SpinesA finished book sits on your shelf like an old friend, with his wrinkled spine, a head full of shared memories, worn but so loved. You think about where you read it, I pick up an already read book and not only am I in the world of the book but in the world I once inhabited. Today I picked up The Hobbit for the first time since I was read it when I was at school and there I was eight years old hidden under the sheets as Smaug first reared his head. I have got into the habits of underlining parts of books that resonate with me. I look through them now and remember how I was feeling when I literally put pen to paper.

I have a pile of unfinished books on their own special shelf. They sit there like reserves at a football match waiting for their time to shine. Maybe it’s time to pick one off the shelf and start the love affair all over again, one page at a time.

37 thoughts on “The Unread Book

  1. DuvessSimone says:

    Wow so inspiring, beautifully written!!!
    I have started my love affair with books again this year, like a new year resolution, I have a set shelf full of books and my aim is to finish them all by the end of the year 🙂

  2. Angeline M says:

    Old books already read are like old friends waiting for you to come back to them for a little reminiscence of good times together. I’ve finally given in and started reading books on my Nook, I didn’t think I would like it, but it is working for me. I do have my old friends on a book shelf that will always stay with me.

  3. Sallyann says:

    I don’t do books, as bad as that sounds I find reading really hard work and so not enjoyable.
    I can completely see where you’re coming from here though, my eldest two daughters devour books and there’s nothing better than listening to them discus their latest reads, especially when they’re sharing with me the story. 🙂

  4. EllaDee says:

    Nicely put. I felt a pang of affection for my bookshelves. If only I had more time to attend to them. My unread books are a buffer, security blanket… new friends to be made along side old faithfuls, who now that you know them are like family. Interesting range of comments which gave me to conclude I am more comfortable around people who read, and/or who are cat/dog people – a traditional demarcation.

  5. restlessjo says:

    I wish I had a better memory for books. Very few stay with me in the way that you suggest. But I LOVE it when I pick up a new book and really start to inhabit it’s world. 🙂

  6. cailinobac says:

    I haven’t made the move to kindle yet and don’t plan on it any time soon, especially since I have so many unread books on my shelf. I’m really trying to reduce that number though…

  7. hitandrun1964 says:

    It’s so true. We do remember where we read them and how we felt while doing so. I picked up an old book, that I had once loved, and started to read it again. I had to stop. it was dated and the writing was no longer interesting or rebellious. Too much had happened in society and the book was truly passé. Some books are only meant to be there for you at certain times in your life, while others never leave but instead stay with you forever.

  8. Jools says:

    “A finished book sits on your shelf like an old friend, with his wrinkled spine, a head full of shared memories, worn but so loved.”

    So beautifully put, and just how I see my shelves packed with worn/loved books. What a wonderful love-letter to your personal library.

  9. Katie Dolla says:

    I think this is one of the best things you’ve ever written. Why this didn’t get Freshly Pressed is BEYOND me

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