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Why We Abandon Books Before Finishing Them

One of the both joys and drawbacks of being an avid reader is the book pile. When it gets too low, we become anxious we’ll run out. When it gets too high, we become anxious we’ll never get through. There are books that we thoroughly enjoy and pass along, books we forget (or even resent as a waste of time) upon finishing, and beloved, dog-eared books who reappear in the pile again and again.

But what of the books we just never get to? You know the ones – they rise to the top of the pile, only to be reshuffled to the bottom, and eventually moved out of the pile entirely, to be relegated to the dreaded shelf. There they sit, tangible, papery reminders of our failures, gathering dust and moths. Why do we buy them? Why don’t we read them? After much discussion and pondering, I came up with my most likely Top 10 Reasons We Don’t Finish Books.

If you’re more of a visual person, you might enjoy this infographic from goodreads called “The Psychology of Abandonment, in which they examine the most frequently abandoned books on their site and the reasons they are unfinished:


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