Fridays are tip days at SimpleProductivity blog. I’m taking a week off, so please enjoy this post from the past!
Originally published on 26 June 2009.
For a long time, I felt that if a book had been published, it had merit. And if I wasn’t “getting it”, the fault was mine.
Not so anymore. I have decided, like Agatha Christie, that I could do better. Unlike her, I haven’t.
Yet. But I’m working on it.
But in the mean time, I have given myself permission to abort a book reading.
One of the benefits of dumping books mid-stream is that you are not wasting your time. You can move on to something that you can connect with, and will benefit from because of your enthusiasm. Or at least be entertained.
If you are reading a book, and find yourself not wanting to read more, but a voice inside your head says otherwise, here is how to counter the “stick it out”-itis.
“But X recommended it…” Ah, yes, peer pressure. Not everyone has the same tastes in books. If a personal friend recommended the book, go back to them and ask why they thought it would benefit you, or why they thought you would enjoy it. Ask for a summary of the book. Then decide if you really want to read it. A friend of mine has been grumbling at me for a few years after I got him hooked on a series that he finds profoundly disturbing (because all the characters seem to get killed off).
But it’s a bestseller…. Just because something sells well doesn’t mean it’s quality. Fast food jumps to mind. Just because a lot of people have bought a book doesn’t mean that they have read it. A Brief History of Time was a best seller, and everyone in one of my college classes bought it. Yet not a single person actually read it. Granted, that is circumstantial evidence, but this group was comprised of engineers who like this sort of thing. All attempted it, and couldn’t get through it.
But it has to get better… If you are half-way through the book and you continue to read it because you cannot believe anything could be that bad and not redeem itself, put it down and walk away. It won’t get better.
Inaccuracies are driving you nuts. We all have our areas of expertise. But some authors choose not to do enough research, or blatantly make things impossible, or errors are overlooked. I still remember the book I read where the main character changed names for no apparent reason on page 20…
If you want to give up a book (and you are not required to read it), do so. Don’t waste your time and energy when you could be enjoying something else.
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