There are many unfinished books in my history of reading. Many of the novels I read in college languished within this category for years, difficult but rewarding novels like William Faulkner's Sanctuary. But then I finally re-read them and it was worth the wait, for not only did I get to see how the story ended, but the story delivered surprises I would not have guessed at.

My newest unfinished book is Jane Eyre by Emily Bronte. I have been waiting years to read this book, always glancing at it while reading other things, even going so far as to read that one very singular first paragraph.

Every book that I read is affected by how I felt about the book that came before, and how long it may take to intellectually and emotionally digest. Jane Eyre suffered from two flaws. First, its historical distance from today, and second, its lack of content. Like any 'great' novel its content is its story. But the story has to matter. The characters have to be strong enough to pierce our everyday life.

The book I was reading just before was a very much about contemporary life, was a memoir of sorts, and also a study of literature:  Azar Nafisi's Reading Lolita In Tehran.  I have to say that I was extremely affected by this book. It is still very much in my mind.