Ink-Stained Scribe

Why I Can't Finish Good Books

 Okay, so the title is a little misleading--I can finish good books (and usually do), but I have this odd tendency to get a few chapters into a fantastically written book and dive for my computer. Rather than respond to a bit of gorgeous detail or cleverly-wrought exposition with "OMG, I must read more!" I respond by diving for my computer, sending anything in my way flying: coffee-tables, chairs, vacuum cleaners, stuffed monkeys, my roommate...
The cats, sensing imminent peril, are usually good at getting out of the way.

I've had a friend describe this as "Like trying to stop peeing mid-stream!" He simply can't put a book down when it's that good.

Does anyone else do this? It can't just be me. I imagine a seamstress walking by shop windows and seeing a gorgeous dress with lots of pin-tucks. Rather than purchasing the dress, the seamstress rushes home to make something with pin-tucks in it. Then, proud of her achievement, she says: "LOOK at my pin-tucks! LOOK AT THEM."

Now, I'm not saying I go and write something that's exactly like what I've just read, but that competative side of me comes out and I have to get to work immediately. I have to keep writing, keep improving, so someday maybe I can be that good.

The main reason I'm writing this is because I've been having a hard time getting through Sabriel, by Garth Nix. I'm loving it, and that's partly why. I consistently get about a half a chapter (sometimes only a few pages) before I have to put it down and write something. His ability to translate seemingly-insignificant detail into something that not only enriches the reader's sense of Sabriel's world, abilities, or fears but also usually furthers the plot just astounds me. I adore detail, but I often don't have a reason for putting it in beyond "that's how I see it in my head".

At the moment, I'm also working on Finnikin of the Rock, Graceling, Dragonflight, and Red Seas under Red Sky. Dragonflight is one I'm re-reading to observe worldbuilding techniques (Anne McCaffrey is a master of this) and Red Seas Under Red Sky is the sequel to one of my favorite books of all time. I'm waiting till I have an uninterruptable weekend to read it, though. Finnikin of the Rock and Graceling were both recommended to me because the genre and character ages are similar to The Mark of Flight.

Chatterbox: Do you ever get inspired to write because of a good book? Can you stop reading a good book for any reason? Can you stop peeing mid-stream? What are you reading now, and why?