The Challenge Of Breaking Up With A Book

Woman Standing in front of books
Picking the right book can be a real challenge! It’s time that we no longer feel bad if we want to “break-up” with a book!

Life is full of choices! Sometimes they decisions are significant and sometimes they’re relatively inconsequential. While our initial decision making process might take seconds or minutes, changing our minds can be an entirely different story. Humans are incredibly stubborn!

Knowing when it’s time to move on from a past choice is a very difficult task.

Personally, the idea of giving up on any of my past decisions or commitments is nearly inconceivable. I try everything in my power to force things to work out, even though I’m ultimately causing myself so much more work and pain in the process!

Giving up and letting go of book is no different

It’s always felt like the ultimate sin as a reader. Is there anything worse?

Most of us have probably experienced that feeling of a “slow burn“. For those who haven’t or aren’t sure, the best way I would describe the concept is it’s a prolonged moment or experience that takes some time to capture your interest or to get going, yet it ultimately turns out to be one of the greatest situations or moments you’ve experienced.

For me, this is one of the main reasons I find it so hard to give up on a book. What if within the next 5-10 pages, a previously un-captivating or un-interesting book turns into the most magnificent or breathtaking journey? I find this is especially true when I’m reading a book that’s been widely regarded and revered as a classic!

But still, sometimes no matter how much time or effort you invest into a book, you just aren’t able to or unwilling to go a page further.

There can be any number of reasons why a book might not be for us. The style of the author can be confusing to understand or the book was originally published in a different language so the translation doesn’t read the exact way the author wanted it to. Alternatively, the book’s subject matter itself might be really difficult to get through or the main character of the story might be so hate-able, that it’s impossible to have any interest in continuing. Or, a book just might be boring to you.

I think it’s time we finally realize that this is okay!

There is nothing more damaging towards aspiring reader’s interest in reading, then trying to push through an unfulfilling book.

Take the books everyone is forced to read in primary or secondary school. I would argue that only a small minority of students actually take the time to read the books they are assigned. While I personally appreciated the books I was “forced” to read in school, I know many didn’t like them. I can’t tell you how many times I bring up my passion of reading and people tell me they lost all interest in the hobby because of the books they were forced to read in school.

I want to make it clear, I think mandatory reading in school is incredibly important! It introduces themes and ideas to students in ways they probably hadn’t thought of before. It also helps develop critical thinking and analysis skills. But I think there are ways it can be improved, to encourage students to have options in reading what they actually want to read.

One teacher I had in high school actually handled this idea wonderfully! He provided his students with a list of 30 books each quarter and the students were required to pick one book from the list, to read and write an essay about. The teacher made sure to include books from a wide range of time periods, authors and themes. This set-up was ideal for everyone, because it allowed us to pick a book we were interested in!

In 2021, let’s spend our time reading books we ENJOY.

Learning lessons is an important part of life!
Take this year to learn from the past! Treat yourself by reading books that you will actually enjoy.

No matter the reason, we should accept some things just aren’t for us. Life’s too short for us to spend it on things we aren’t fond of!

Especially if you’re like me and you have a 2021 Resolution to read a book every week, breaking-up with a book is an important skill to learn.

Just for fun, I want to include a list of some of the books I’ve been unable/uninterested in finishing. There are even some bonafide “classics” in there! 

  1. Some books I don’t think I’ll ever finish
    1. Don Quixote – Miguel de Cervantes
      • This book is so incredibly long! Also, it was originally written in Spanish, so the translation was really tough to read at certain points.
    2. As I Lay Dying – William Faulkner
      • Faulkner’s style has never really meshed for me. He is known for utilizing extremely long sentences, which are also really complicated.
    3. Game of Thrones – George R R Martin
      • I love Fantasy novels, especially when they are apart of a larger series. Unfortunately, the novels just didn’t capture my interest.
    4. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
      • This one just wasn’t for me! I wish it were different, but I just wasn’t able to find any interest in the book’s plot.

I’d love to hear from you about some of the books you broke up with! Comment down below!

As always, thanks for stopping by. Have a wonderful day!

~ K

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