Why do I struggle to finish books?

Open book with fanned pages on top of a stack against a light background.

Have you ever found yourself staring at a bookshelf overflowing with titles you couldn't wait to read but never started or finished? Don't feel bad; you're definitely not alone—even the most avid reader has a few unfinished novels on their shelf! 

We all have those books we just had to have and then something happened along the way. We got caught up in another book, a coffee date, or life in general. There are so many of us who have those half-read books, and we even mentally add them to a to-do list. As if our brains really need something extra to remember!

But don't worry we have got you covered with some great strategies for turning those half-read books into tales of triumph. 

Reading Completion Challenges

We often wonder why some books feel like marathons with no finish line in sight. It can be so frustrating when that initial excitement wanes as you turn each page. It's like you just can't get into the book. Sometimes, it's because of the complete mismatch between our expectations and the book's direction. 

Then, of course, we are all faced with what can only be described as life's endless distractions, which just don't appreciate our need to keep our noses stuck in a book. And let's be honest; some books demand a level of energy and concentration that's hard to muster after a long day.

Don't beat yourself up; it's okay and completely normal. And if you don't love the book, you don't love the book, and in those cases, we highly recommend donating it so that it won't end up on your personal to-do list. Struggling to finish a book doesn't mean you love reading any less. It simply means you haven't found the right strategy to carry you through.  

A OUABC reading challenge chart from a book club with categories to fill.

Sometimes we need a little bit of excitement—why not try our 2024 Reading Challenge or our Book Bingo card for something completely different!

Strategies for Finishing Books

Just like with most tasks in life, setting small achievable goals wins every time. We have found that breaking down your reading goals into bite-sized chunks quickly transforms an uphill battle into a pleasant walk in the park. Whether it's a chapter at night or a few pages in the morning, consistency is your ally.

Another great strategy is to incorporate lots of engagement. You can connect more with the book by making notes or, even better, discussing it with friends or your book club! Sharing your insights and predictions goes a long way to rekindling your interest and commitment to seeing a story through to its end.

We often read multiple books at once. Sometimes, a change in genre helps refresh our reading appetite—nothing beats the flexibility of grabbing that mystery when the romance isn't working!

Improving Reading Strategies

It's time for a little introspection—understanding your reading habits can be a game changer. Perhaps you are more focused in the early mornings when it's quiet or in the evenings after the kids have gone to bed—yes, the dishes can wait! Think about your reading environment. Where are you most comfortable reading, especially if it's somewhere you find yourself wondering where the time went? 

Another great strategy is to call in the forces. Well, we mean in the form of technology. E-readers and reading apps often come with features that allow you to track your progress, provide summaries, and even adjust text size and background color for a more comfortable reading experience.

Reading Goals

Setting realistic reading goals is like drawing a map to treasure. It's not just about the quantity of books you aim to devour but the quality of your reading journey. We always celebrate every book we finish, no matter how long it takes. Remember, reading is not a race; it's an adventure meant to be savored.

Remember, your goals aren't cast in stone, and sometimes they need a little adjusting. If a book isn't resonating with you, it's perfectly fine to put it aside—gift it, donate it, sell it. We are great proponents of not having anything around that you won't read. Our incredible world of books is vast and varied—there's something out there for everyone.

Close-up of OUABC book club boxes with vibrant pink and teal covers.

Setting a reading goal can be as easy as reading just one book a month. Here at Once Upon a Book Club, we have simply the best book box around. Each month, you will receive a fabulous novel accompanied by our world-famous gifts that bring the book to life in the palm of your hand. Trust us, with this much excitement, these won't be books you will want to put down!

Benefits of Completing Books

Crossing the finish line with a book is more than just a checkmark on your reading list; it's a journey through varied landscapes of emotion and thought. Each book you complete adds to your life in some way. It may have enriched your understanding, broadened your perspectives, and, yes, even boosted your mood and self-esteem. You could even think of it as successfully finishing an adventure or completing an invaluable life lesson. 

Who doesn't love feeling that sense of accomplishment? It's fabulous, and the more you feel it, the more confident you grow to tackle even more challenging reads. It's a wonderful cycle of growth and discovery—it doesn't just improve your reading skills but also improves your outlook!

Overjoyed woman with eyes closed and fists pumped in celebration against pink backdrop.

Celebrating Every Page Turned

In the end, finishing books is about celebrating the journey as much as the destination. It's about those exciting moments spent in other worlds, the characters you've met, and the knowledge you've gained. So, why do we struggle to finish books? Because sometimes, we need to remind ourselves of the joy and discovery waiting in the next chapter.

Let's approach each book with curiosity and patience, armed with strategies that make reading not just a goal but a delightful part of our daily lives. When you finally turn that last page, take a moment to celebrate your achievement. After all, every book finished is a new story that has become part of your life.

Finishing Books

So, come on, we're challenging you to pick up that book you've left unfinished. Set a small goal for tonight, perhaps just one more chapter, and see where it leads you. Engage with the story, share your thoughts, and most importantly, enjoy the journey. Who knows? You might find yourself hungry for the next adventure.

Get up and do a dance of joy because you made it to the end of this post! Remember, every page turned is a step forward in your adventure as a reader. We wish you lots of happy reading and would love to hear which strategies worked for you!

Make sure to check out our blog, What's a book hangover? 3 Ways to get Over a Book Hangover. You may find that if you’re struggling to finish your latest book, it’s because you haven’t gotten over your last one!

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