Sometimes, you just need to quit a book…
In the past few days, I have found myself reading a book I really wasn’t enjoying. I picked it up because it looked interesting and was readily available from my local public library but I found the content to be rather dry. The book was a memoir, and while those can be intriguing reads, this particular author seemed to be writing about a part of her life she’d sooner forget. It may have been more interesting if it was an expose of life in service, kind of a contrast to the Downton Abbey’esque picture we all see of life in service, but sadly, it wasn’t. It was boring. So, after several days of forcing my self through it, I quit.
I used to have mixed feelings about the idea of quitting a book half way through reading. I felt like in order to really truly evaluate the work, to give the author the full chance to tell the story, I needed to push through to the end. I needed to persevere through. But after 6.5 years of grad school, 4 years of college, a full time job and a full life outside of my day job, I’ve realized something important- my time is valuable. My time is in fact too valuable to spend reading books I don’t like when they have no purpose. And I have had enough required reading over the years that I forced myself through, I don’t need to do it now that I have the option of reading for fun.
The other reason I tend to find myself quitting a book is when I come across something that I find is impacting me negatively or offensively. Everybody has something they find offensive, or that they just choose not to put in their mind- whether that is language, imagery, or just a harshly negative tone. At times, I have stopped reading things because the content is just not something I want hanging out in my mind, or I notice the content has begun to impact my mood in a negative way. I find for me that there are certain lines I can’t cross with things that are going in me, and I have to stop reading.
Ultimately, I choose to read because to me, reading is fun. So to me, its worth quitting a book if its not teaching me something valuable, making me think, or just plain fun.
What about you? Have you ever found yourself needing to quit a book?