It seems like there’s an unspoken rule in the library world about abandoning books, that even if you truly dislike a book, you finish it. After all, that’s what we tell our students, our own children — once you commit to something, you finish…if you stick with it, you might end up enjoying it at the end…we persevere, we don’t quit.
So here’s the thing, in the last few months, I’ve abandoned a couple of books that everyone (professional reviews, book bloggers, friends, etc.) said that I “must read”. I have abandoned them with dramatic THUNKS…like, literally, I have flung them on my floor in front of my impressionable kids and declared, “Oh, honey, that’s IT! I am DONE with this!” And so far, not only have the Library Gods not come and stripped me of my MLIS title, but precious time has been freed for me to take on other books.
Listen, I am not saying we should make abandoning books into a habit, and I am open to the idea of re-reading these books in the future — I might love them in a different time, a different mood. But I realized it’s okay to give myself — and my kids — the permission to say “No, maybe later…or maybe not ever” to a book once in a while, even if they happened to be award-winners or classics or on someone’s best-sellers list. Because at the end of the day, reading shouldn’t seem like a chore or something you dread. It should bring you lots of joy and anticipation instead.
Without further ado, here are a couple of books I bravely left behind this year…don’t judge me.