I started this “Finished” experiment on the last day of 2018, and I just realized we’re a bit past halfway through the year, so it seems appropriate to have a midway check-in.
I have logged 41 poetry books since the week starting on the last day of 2018, and that number would be higher if I included the four or five books I abandoned. The initial “To Be Read” shelf held just under seventy books, so you’d be forgiven if you thought this meant I’d managed to complete well over half of all the books on my TBR shelf.
But these numbers don’t tell the whole story. I’ve bought 17 additional books of poetry this year, so I still have (consults a calculator…) almost 45 unfinished (or unstarted) books waiting for me to get around to them. I’ll never cross the finish line if it keeps receding before me (said every bookworm ever).
However, I consider this experiment a complete success so far. It has encouraged me to actively engage in reading poetry almost every day, and it’s also made me realize just how difficult it can be to do something you love. If I struggle to find time to read poetry, then how much harder is it for people with a far more casual relationship to it?
It’s much easier to find the time for things we’re addicted to rather than for the things we love.
For now, I will continue to post weekly updates, but I may choose to go monthly for August or September, and give myself a chance to focus on a few more longer books (like Laura Kasischke’s collected poems, or Geoffrey Hill and JH Prynne’s enormous collected doorstops).
And at this point, I’m definitely going to take this through to the end of the year. And beyond? We’ll see.