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Finishing A Book In A Certain Month Having Read Most Of It In Another

A photograph of a 2017 diary set to March 1st with a copy of The Nakano Thrift Shop resting on it

I have a personal problem with my own concept of reading by month in accordance with my blog. (I hope that makes sense.) That the problem is entirely of my own creation; nevertheless it’s hardly unheard of to talk of books you read in any one month – book clubs are based around months – and so I know this might strike a chord with many of you or at the very least form a fair discussion.

I feel, in terms of my own reading and blogging life, that it’s cheating if I finish a book in one particular month having read the majority of it the month previous. I read 75% of Anna Karenina in the months… years… preceding the one it was included, round up wise. And often this can happen in multiples so I’ll have a month where I’ve read a lot overall but only finished two books, say, and then because I finished the remaining books on the 1st of the next month, it looks like I read a lot in that next month. I know it’s silly, especially as it all works out in the end, and especially because a month of few and a month of many achieves the same result – talking year by year now – but I continue to struggle.

So the extremely first-world problem is effectively balanced out by the fact the month in which I read most of the book isn’t included.

This post, though brewing for years, was written up because I was inspired by Stefanie’s descriptor, ‘The Middles’. The Middles is that time when you’re in the middle of a few books. It can feel like you’re not getting anywhere and of course you are getting somewhere but the more books you have on the go, the harder it is to make noticeable progress. Your reading time is diluted, even if you concentrate – once you’ve noticed there’s a problem – on getting one finished at a time. You get to that place where September saw you finish lots of books but October saw none.

I think it’s time I put more emphasis on books I have on the go.

Have you ever thought something similar?



January 9, 2017, 10:42 am

I cant honestly say that this issue causes any concern for me. I dont particularly keep track of the number of books finished by month anyway so if it trickles from one month to another it’s fine…….

Literary Feline (Wendy)

January 9, 2017, 4:14 pm

I the only time it crosses my mind is when it comes to the end of the year. I do like to finish anything I am in the middle of before the New Year starts, although (like this year), that didn’t happen. It doesn’t bother me that the book will count as a 2017 book read even though I read most of it in 2016 though. And it never phases me when my reading overlaps from one month to the next. I do keep track of the dates I finish books, but it all evens out in the end, I figure.


January 9, 2017, 4:29 pm

I only keep track of books by the year and use the last week or so of December to catch up on magazines and other things. Now that I’m in a book club (and we meet the first week of the month), I read the January selection in December and count it there, even though it doesn’t get reviewed on my blog until after the meeting. I rarely have more than one book going at a time.

Laurie C

January 10, 2017, 3:06 am

Your blog post title made me chuckle! It sounded a little like a chapter heading from an old-fashioned novel. ;)
I sometimes think I should stick to reading one book at a time, but then I say to myself, “Nah, don’t want to!”

Tanya Patrice

January 10, 2017, 1:03 pm

It doesn’t really bother me … especially since I don’t track my books that accurately and sometimes a book will end up in the month after it’s finished!


January 10, 2017, 8:33 pm

I keep track of when I start and finish a book but am finding more and more that I really don’t care about the dates much. I am, however, working up a good case of The Middles at the moment!

maria helena

January 10, 2017, 8:51 pm

I have the same problem, but I just keep reminding myself that my monthly list is of books I finished that month, not necessarily read completely within that month. I’m usually pretty good at tracking the dates (and progress) I read a book in Goodreads, so I can go back and check when I actually read something.


January 16, 2017, 2:11 pm

Bookertalk: Fair enough. You keep year lists, I presume?

Wendy: Yes, when it’s at the end of the year it is hard. I think lots of us keep our general lists by year. It does even out, very true.

Kelly: That’s a good idea, using the last week to catch up. I did a books-I’ve-wanted-to-read couple of weeks and that was good (and I did admittedly try to finish a book, just didn’t work) but dedicating it sounds a good plan. That makes sense, adding it to December’s list. I used to have only one book at a time, now I try for no more than two and they’ve got to be different genres. One at a time is best though, definitely.

Laurie: ‘There was no possibility of taking a walk that day…’ :) I would love to, and did used to, but it became too difficult. Having more than one book on the go lessens the chance of a slump, I find.

Tanya: I used to do that a lot, it’s just my interest in the stats that stops me.

Stefanie: I get that. I do like the dates but at the same time I’m aware that beyond the months themselves, the actual dates don’t matter. (I used to think it was good in terms of seeing how long it took to read the book but there are so many variables to consider…) Same here!

Maria: Indeed. That’s a good way to work. I found I was hopeless at remembering to go to GoodReads; my profile is so out of date! But the fact you can view it anywhere is so useful.



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