Decluttering: the pendulum has swung

Soooo…previously, I had to read a book I bought or it had to remain on the shelf until I read it. No avoiding what must be completed.

Now I have given myself permission to stop reading if I don’t like the book, I’m worried I may have a whole new issue.

Don’t love the book? Out with it.

Book’s only OK? Out with it.

Meh! Out with it.

I’m reading a book I recently bought in the US. By an African-American author who is apparently a YouTube star and a TV actor/director.

I like reading books that give me different perspectives, books by the marginalised, by minorities, by outsiders. Hence my attraction to this book.

But besides learning about African hair, I didn’t feel this book gave me a new understanding. It was good, better than OK. But didn’t sing to me, didn’t resonate with me. I definitely didn’t laugh “freakishly hard” as it said I would on the cover. Didn’t laugh at all, actually.

I was tempted to abandon the book. Enough already.

But then I realised I was becoming too quick to move on. Breaking my rules is a slippery slope.

See what happens when you break rules! This is why things have to be done in a certain way, Why standards must be maintained.

But it is too late. The horse has bolted. The gate is open. I’m becoming a cruel reader.

[As the book was a series of unrelated chapter, I suppose I could have taken my time but I want to declutter. I also wanted to get a sense of the author that comes from reading all at once. But mostly I want to declutter.]

7 thoughts on “Decluttering: the pendulum has swung

  1. I always feel disappointed when a book doesn’t deliver or worry when it has good ratings but I don’t gel with it at all. They will always be a very personal thing and maybe the reason why I never carried on at my local book group after a while.
    I need to declutter – anything and everything!
    I am just catching up with your posts – as usual whilst I have been away you have been posting proliferately – I am reading them backwards too – not sure if that is a good idea though.

    • Ha, sometimes I obsessively must read blog posts in the order that they are written, but that’s just like my rule of having to finish a book. Backwards forwards, I don’t think it matters.

      I don’t read all those pages of quotes about how good he book is, that they now put in front of books. Does anyone read those? If I was an author, I’d be worried it would turn people off or raise expectations unrealistically!

  2. Frankly, I have come to the conclusion on too many books that the more they are praised, the less likely I will enjoy the book. Perverse, I know. I’ve always avoided many, if not most, of the NYTimes best seller books until two to three years (or more) have past to see if the book holds up over time (and untrustworthy PR departments, not to mention the modern day “influencers”–who I am likely to wholesale ignore). This tactic hasn’t often failed me, I might add.

    I have been decluttering, too, but mostly the shredding variety. HUGE amounts. I did also set aside 25 books for charity pick up. Don’t I feel virtuous…

    • From now on I will call you “Oh Virtuous One”. Good advice about waiting to see if books on lists hold up. I have a couple of books that were on some newspaper’s “must reads of the year” that I haven’t read and the books aren’t grabbing me.

  3. Do you generally like essays by youngish women like Amy Schumer, Lena Dunham and Scaachi Koul? (not trying to compare these 3) I like some but not all, and I am happy to move on when a book doesn’t grab me. I stopped reading “We Are Never Meeting in Real Life” by blogger Samantha Irby – there was nothing wrong with it, and I like reading about the experiences of people unlike myself, but I just had other compelling things to read at that time. I want to read more Roxane Gay.

    • I read a collection of Amy Schumer. I liked some of the essays but I think I am the wrong demographic. I haven’t heard of the others.

      I love your like “other compelling things to read”. That will be my blog title of the next book I abandon.

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