The Finishing of a Book

If you’re like me and you like to read a lot, you will know that there is something special about finishing one. Especially when the volume is a long and laborious one. There is a certain sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that goes with turning the last page. Usually my eyes can’t help but get ahead of themselves and look at the last sentence.

My friend Colby has an interesting theory. He thinks that the finishing of a book should take place all in a long, sustained bit of reading. One should free oneself of all distractions for about an hour, and just read to the end. While I agree somewhat, life is not always so peaceful as to allow a final sustained hour.

One unique thing that I tend to do when I read the last page is to pick up another book and read at least a page or two of another. Does this make me a chain-reader? Who knows? This probably stems from the unwillingness to sit and reflect on what I just read, because good reflection is hard work.

Take, for example, tonight. I finished Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer, and immediately picked up another volume (to be named later). The Moviegoer was one of those very compelling novels that I know I will be contemplating for some time. So, instead of dealing with it then, I practiced the simple art of procrastination once again.