Thursday, April 17, 2008


This is a term familiar to knitters. It’s when you start knitting something, but before you finish it, you start knitting something else. When you knit, a lot of the fun comes at the beginning as you see how the yarn knits up, and what the pattern looks like. Once you get going, it can sometimes just be a long slog until you're done. It’s not uncommon for knitters to have seven or eight projects going at once, all because of a bad case of startitis.

And so it goes with me and books these past few weeks. That Persephone book I started three weeks ago? Not done yet, because it started to be a slog about two weeks ago, and so I started reading The Italian Lover, by Robert Hellenga. Am I done that yet? No, because this week I started an Icelandic mystery by a new writer, Yrsa Sigurdardottir. Well, am I done that? Not yet. I haven’t started anything else, but I do have several tempting items stacked next to the bed….

Finishitis is a much rarer condition in knitters. Occasionally someone will blast through all their unfinished projects and announce that they’ve had a case of it, but personally I’ve never been afflicted. I still have half a mitten from 1994. But maybe the book version will hit me soon and I’ll finally have something to blog about (other than weird made-up diseases, that is).


Doreen Orion said...

I love the catagory for this, "whining."

I used to feel compelled to finish all books (and movies, actually).
Now, not so much. If it doesn't grab me in the first 50 pages, I'm done. Don't care. I guess as a reviewer I can understand if you feel more of an obligation, but please don't suffer on my account.

Anonymous said...

I am very bad at finishing things (my novel being the main unfinished item these days), but love to start 'em. However, I did begin a book last night that kept me up for hours -- "The Rottweiler" by Ruth Rendell. How cool to discover a mystery writer I really like so late in life (hers and mine).

Becky Holmes said...

Susan, the Rottweiler suffers from the same syndrome as Rendell's other recent works: the ending isn't as good as the beginning. But it has some great characters!

Becky Holmes said...

Doreen, I don't really feel obligated. I abandon books all the time. I really do WANT to finish these other ones, but somehow haven't gotten up the energy....

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