On Reading: I’ve Started, So I’ll Finish–eventually!

There’s a term I came up with a few years ago, to refer to a book that I start, enjoy, and then either pause or stop reading—either for a while, or indefinitely—and never really go back to, despite having been interested in the first place. Now I use it for anything I start and want to go back to, but haven’t yet.

“Shadowmarching”.
I call it this, because the first book I ever did this with was Tad Williams’ Shadowmarch. I enjoyed it when I started and then for some reason, I put it down and read something else. Then, I picked it up again, got a little further, and put it down again. Rinse and repeat.

It’s still on my TBR list, and I did enjoy the beginning. I intend to read it through fully one day—in fact, I have the next book in the quartet to follow on from Shadowmarch. It was just one of those books that either didn’t grip me enough at the time, and then a new release I’d been eagerly awaiting landed, or life got in the way and I didn’t have the time or energy to read there and then.

Shadowmarch was the first book I did this with, and whilst there haven’t been many, there have been a few—some which surprised me, since I expected to be gripped by them more. My list of Shadowmarched books is as follows:

  • (Naturally) Shadowmarch, by Tad Williams
  • Red Seas under Red Skies, by Scott Lynch
  • The Final Empire, by Brandon Sanderson
  • The Way of Shadows, by Brent Weeks
  • Nights of Villjamur, by Mark Charan Newton (I went on to read, finish and love this title)
  • The Sworn, by Gail Z. Martin
  • Sea of Ghosts¸ by Alan Campbell

I hate Shadowmarching books. I really, really hate it. It makes me feel fickle and I dislike that. But, whenever I do Shadowmarch a book, I always go on to another book that usually gets a 5* rating, so there’s something to be said for picking and choosing between books based on mood. I recently compared books to music, and suggested that our mood and disposition affects how we enjoy (or don’t enjoy) them. I think every book on this list can be attributed to a certain mood or phase in my life where I needed something that the books weren’t giving—or that what they were giving, I wasn’t amenable to right there and then.

There are a couple of books that might be added to my Shadowmarch list, but they’re still hovering between that, and returning to the TBR pile, since I am only a chapter or two into them. The books I’ve Shadowmarched will be read… sooner or later and probably when there’s a dry spell between new releases. Or, when I’m done with my TBR list, which is towering and gargantuan…!

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