I Can’t Quit You


Readers stop reading a book they enjoy when they put it down and forget to come back. Readers finish books they hate when they are assigned it for book clubs or else they want to hate-read and laugh about [it] with their friends . . . Just as a half-read book isn’t necessarily a failure, a completed book is not necessarily a success.

In a world where e-reading companies can track how many books (and what books) readers aren’t finishing and release the stats so panicky writers can scramble to make meaning of them, Lincoln Michel at Electric Literature defends the half-finished book.

Claire Burgess’s short fiction has appeared in Third Coast, Hunger Mountain, and PANK online, among others. Her stories have received special mentions in the Pushcart Prize and Best American anthologies, but haven’t actually made it into one yet. She’s a graduate of the Vanderbilt University MFA program, where she co-founded Nashville Review. She lives in Pittsburgh by way of the deep South and says things on Twitter @Clairabou_. More from this author →