WR #17: When it’s okay to quit a book.

Well. I put off writing this until the last minuted. Not because I had procrastinated, but that I had prioritized. After being a bit dissatisfied with the number of words I had written during week 3 and especially week 2 of my current project, I made myself start each day working on that rather than anything else. It worked. But the book update is for another post.

I almost  quite reading The Martian around page 55, even though so many people had recommended it. Luckily I didn’t because the next 25 pages were great. It proved the adage that you should read the number of pages which is one-hundred minus your age. That means that until later this month when I’m a year older, I should read 68 pages.

I did quite reading All Marketers are Liars/Tell Stories by Seth Godin. It was amazing to me that while his post seems so concise and well written, this book seemed way too loose and inefficient. It was dancing around points the same way that my daughters will dance their way dressed. Slowly, with much flair, but little actual progress.

But this is probably my fault and I’m happy I quit reading it.

Becoming comfortable with quitting a book has been a pleasant lesson life. Like learning about roasted parsnips, it’s made my life better. You are not ready for some books, some books are bad, some books don’t have a good voice for you. The list of reasons is very long, just know that if you want to quit a book, you should quit a book.

My strongest personal example is a current book I’m reading, Fooled by Randomness. I tried to read this book in 2011 and then again in 2013 and couldn’t get into it. Only after I read Antifragile, Thinking Fast and Slow, Meditations, and many other books did I have the background understanding required to start to grasp what Taleb was writing.

Quit reading a book, but don’t ever quit reading.

What I’ve been reading. 

As noted above, The Martian and Fooled by Randomness.  Another data point to the above point, I quite The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. It wasn’t for me.

What I published this week.

As noted above, it was a busy book writing week. I did get a chance to write about the road signs for becoming a writer on this site. At The Waiter’s Pad I published posts by Jairek Robbins and Adam Carolla. The Carolla interview was from last year but he had a lot of good pieces of advice. One that stuck with me was to think about certain events in life as things that just sort of happen. He tells James Altucher, “How are you going to feel if a cop gives you a chicken-shit ticket for rolling through a stop sign? Are you going to take that personally?” Carolla is suggesting that that sort of stuff just happens and he gets on with life.

I wrote a piece about Choosing Your Conventions Wisely at Productivityist.

Thanks for reading. Let me know what books you’ve happily quit. (559) 464-5393/@MikeDariano/CommentBelow


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