Do you hesitate to put down books you have already started? Do you slog through them instead? Rather than praise you for not quitting, I am going to call you out.
Firstly, there is such a thing called a book-reader fit. Just as there is a product market fit. Or an employee and organization fit. When we think of some books, vivid scenes come to our mind’s eye. They change the way we look at the world. We mistake certain characters for being real (of course Sherlock Holmes is real!). Also, there are books we slogged through just to finish them. Odds are when we think of those painful reads, only vague details come to our minds. Books that are not for us require longer to finish, while leaving fewer memories.
Which brings us to the second point – opportunity cost. Let us consider a 30-year-old, who reads 10 books a year. At current life expectancy and rate of reading, she has about 45 more years to live – so about 450 more books to read in her lifespan. Adjust your own numbers upwards or downwards in that equation. Regardless, those aren’t a lot of books! We have limited space on our lifetime-reading-bookshelves. Given that there are millions of fantastic unread books out there, we ought to be careful about the books we choose to read. Every good book has earned its limited shelf space, while every book we slog through takes up some of that space without giving enough in return.
My only premise here – we can often tell if a book is good for us about 60 pages in. Or sometime before we finish. Or when we put it away for months and have to start again from the beginning.
Life is too short for reading a “bad” book. Not books that are universally bad. Not books that the critics think are bad. Merely books that are bad for you.