It is that time of the year. Summer book recommendations are everywhere (even here). And you want them all… I want them all. Books to make you smarter, holier, a better dad or mom or son or daughter. They’re all there and they are all good. And there is that book, recommended by the blogger or author you admire, so you buy it.
And then you hate it.
There is just one book everyone should read and love, and it is not authored by humans. So, any other book someone recommends, there is a chance you won’t like it. And you know what? That’s OK.
Even if the book is recommended by the wisest of the wise, the most popular among the popular or by your mom. You can pause your reading for another season in your life. You can also put it down for good. Let me try to persuade you with these three arguments:
1. There Are SO MANY Other Books To Read:
More than 2.000.000 books are published every year around the world. How many books are there available to us from the beginning of time? I don’t know! But for sure, there are way more books than a human can read in his or her life time. So why spend valuable time on something you don’t even like? Enjoy your reading time, don’t waste it.
2. You’ll Just End Up Frustrated:
If reading books you don’t like can make you waste your time, it’ll also make you waste your energy. We all have stuff to do, sometimes stuff we don’t want to do, why do the same thing with books? You are (most likely) not in high school anymore. No one is forcing you to read anything.
When I feel that approaching a book is becoming more of a battle, like forcing myself to wash the dishes after a long day, I think twice about continuing. Maybe I am just not in the mood for that book now, maybe I could read it some time later this year, or maybe I just have to give up on it completely.
3. You Are Probably Doing It For The Wrong Reasons:
Why on earth would you want to continue with that book, anyways?! Well, maybe it is because it is a classic that everyone calls a must read for any cultured mind. Or perhaps you want to say you read it because it will make you look better than those who haven’t. You could be ashamed of not liking something your teacher or your pastor likes…
Stop for a minute and ask yourself why do you want to continue with that book. Be honest with yourself. Is it a good and pure reason? Maybe you want to challenge yourself out of your confort zone, and that’s great! But if there is even the small red flag of pride, shame or hypocrisy… put that book down and run the other way!
Before we finish, I want to point something out. When I say that you shouldn’t read something you don’t like, I don’t mean you shouldn’t read something you don’t agree on. That’s a whole different deal. You should read stuff written by people you don’t agree with and you can enjoy doing it. It expands your mind and your world view. Do it.
I know many people that torture themselves to finish a book. I guess we learned at school that we had to read certain books or else we would fail. That’s not the case. If you enjoy a book, I might not like it. If I enjoy a book, you might not like it.
And thats OK.
When someone dislikes a book you love, just remember: There is also people who don’t like chocolate…or puppies.
[Image via Peter Hopper]