Winter of Reading: Permission to NOT Finish a Book

Welcome to this Winter of Reading guest blog post by Emily! Even though we are about halfway through Winter of Reading there is still plenty of time and I hope that you’ve been enjoying your challenges. Have you read a book from the year you were born yet? Or picked up an #OwnVoices title? Or are you taking on a Book in Translation? Whatever you’re reading I really hope you are LOVING it! But what if you’re not?

Reading is not your job (well unless it is and then I guess carry on and finish that awful book that you’re hating); reading should be your passion and if your relationship to a book becomes a bad one LEAVE, right now! No bookmarks, no lingering looks backwards, no regrets. In economics there is a theory called the Sunk Cost Fallacy and it is proven that folks make bad decisions based on how much they feel they have “invested." Your time is an investment, but don’t allow sunk costs (time already spent) to determine the value of a book--good books don’t make you hate picking them up, they make you hate putting them down. If every time you put that book down you feel better, then realize you are reading the wrong book and get yourself quickly to the library to find a new one!

I always tell customers when I hand them a book, give it a chance but don’t hesitate to put it down if it doesn't work for you. As Marie Kondo would ask, does this book spark joy? I’m not saying the book has to make you happy or feel joyous, people should read books that make them uncomfortable, that make them stretch and grow, but consider this also: you can only read so many books in one lifetime. So make every one of them count!

It is totally okay to quit a book, but it’s not okay to quit reading, so if the book you are struggling with is making you into not-a-reader, chuck it (in the returns bin) and start another! We want you to feel ecstatically happy about your reading, and sometimes that means walking away! Do it, DO IT.

If you are looking for some great suggestions to jump in here are my top 10 favorite reads from 2018:

All Systems Red by Martha Wells (Murderbot #1)

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse (The Sixth World #1)

Infinite Blacktop by Sara Gran (Claire DeWitt #3)

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (Folk of the Air #1)

Atomic Robo by Brian Clevinger

Heads of the Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstances by Ruth Emmy Lang

The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka

Written by Becker on January 28, 2019