There are many reasons that bibliophiles don’t read certain books.
It could be because they prefer a different genre or because the writing style doesn’t appeal to them. Perhaps they don’t like the author, or they feel the subject matter doesn’t interest them.
Sometimes the book cover and synopsis isn’t appealing or you’re just not in the mood to read a hefty, highbrow tome that requires more concentration than you’re willing to give.
The point is, we all have our personal preferences. And sometimes even in our genre of choice, we are let down because the story has too many plot holes, the writing is lacklustre or you’re simply no longer invested in the lives of the characters.
I’m a big believer in ditching books that you no longer enjoy.
In fact, I practise this philosophy on a regular basis because there are just too many books to get to and not enough time to read them all.
However, every now and then, I find myself wavering slightly in my stance.
In fact, the book I’m currently reading is one that has me thinking I should trudge on despite my reservations.
The Square Root of Summer is a YA novel that would have you thinking it’s a fluffy and summery read.
While I certainly get those vibes, it also blends a combination of science and mathematical equations to explore concepts such as space time travel, wormholes and the mechanics of other mathematical theories related to how rips in time are created.
In other words, my genre of choice but not the subject matter of my choice.
Interestingly enough, even though I’m struggling with some of the concepts explored in this book (I was never mathematically inclined and have always hated physics), I love the author’s writing and I love that I am learning something new, even if the concept is one I don’t completely understand.
This got me thinking to how we are quick to dismiss books we don’t want to read.
I mean, sure I’m not going to start reading complex books on quantum physics or devour A Brief History of Time for funsies (although I did try once and may have broken my brain in the process), but I do think that reading outside of our chosen genres can be really good for us.
I was chatting to a friend on Twitter about this and she mentioned that she often tries to read books she wouldn’t normally read because:
a) it’s a great way to learn something new you normally would not;
2) it’s also a way to extend your reading niche, which is never a bad thing;
3)it means you’re supporting an author that’s new to you.
I was also reading a column about how reading books that make you feel dumb can actually be a good thing because it provides you either with a new lesson or a different perspective about something you thought you knew everything about.
There are a lot of arguments for not reading books you won’t or don’t like (many of which I agree with), but I also find myself advocating for reading books you hate because they provide so much insight into what you want and don’t want in a book.
I believe that being a book lover means you’re also a book scholar. Most people with a love for books are people who also have a deep love of learning.
And as such, that learning extends to discovering the books that don’t resonate with you, giving you an opportunity to dissect, debate and discuss all the nuances of what it is that you like or don’t like about the book.
It also helps you to gauge how your reading style has evolved over the years.
I often find that sometimes, a good old time away from a book and approaching it at a later stage again could go a long way to changing a person’s opinion as well. Remember those prescribed books you hated but had to read during high school?
Chances are, if you read them now, you may actually have a different opinion about them now.
But what’s your take on this? Do you sometimes read books you don’t really want to read? Or do you prefer to spend your time on books you know you’ll enjoy? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.
Here are this month’s top 10 reads
The Call by Peadar O’Guilin
Orphans of the Carnival by Carol Birch
The Street: Exposing a World of Cops, Bribes and Drug Dealers by Paul McNally
Night School by Lee Child
Three Daughters of Eve by Elif Shafak
Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave
Above the Waterfall by Ron Rash
Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas
The Babylon Eye by Masha du Toit
A Time of Torment by John Connolly
Until next time
Happy reading everyone
Yours in books and reluctant reads