I’m a slow reader with a short attention span, but I’d like to read a lot more books than I currently manage. So I’m like the armchair analyst who dreams of changing the world – tons of ambition, but lack of skills (and possibly desire?). A recurrent problem for me has been that I start some books, partly or nearly finish them, have no interest in continuing, but can’t start other books until I finish the earlier ones. Obviously there’s merit to sticking it out, but more often than not, time could be better spent reading books out of which I could derive most value, rather than struggle with ones that are neither adding much value nor getting done (I’m looking at you Robert Pirsig). What I’m suggesting isn’t groundbreaking, but it’s important to remember – the guilt and pressure of finishing a book is a strong deterrent to moving on and reading more books that you can actually finish. The same applies to TV shows, jobs, relationships (but we won’t go there). It’s tempting to simply view all of this as the sunk cost fallacy, but stating out the special case is always useful. That’s why we have the Hawking Index.

- nRT