Breaking up is hard to do

It’s a sad sight to behold: an unfinished book languishing disconsolately at the bottom of a pile, grasping within its pages a bookmark that hasn’t moved for many a week.  It wants to be read, but any hope of being picked up again dwindles with each passing day, as it watches other more fortunate books being placed on top of it and quickly devoured before they move on.  I feel for that book – the poor relation, the runt of the litter – yet try as I might I can’t bring myself to put it out of its misery.  It may have started with promise, but the harsh truth is that more alluring novels have since caught my eye and, like any failed relationship, the longer our time apart the easier it is to forget.  It pains me to say it, but today as I write, “Armadale” is the spurned lover in my life.  Two months have passed, a plethora of other books have been and gone, and page 166 is looking more and more like my bookmark’s final resting place.  Will I go back?  Or will I quietly slip my abandoned book back between “The Woman in White” and “The Moonstone” and pretend our brief encounter never happened?  Right now, I can’t bring myself to sever that last bond; I’m not ready for the inevitable sense of failure and guilt that comes with that finality.  But in my heart of hearts I know it would be better for both of us… so sorry Armadale – it’s not you, it’s me.

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