Why these five books couldn’t keep me entertained.
Keeping with my 2017 New Year’s Resolutions, I am determined to not waste my time reading books that do not interest me. Whether because of length, subject matter, author’s style, or relevance, I closed these books early, with chapters untouched.
- The Paradox of Choice This is pretty much a classic in the world of modern psychological literature; and since I have a degree in psychology, I was sure I would love it. Unfortunately…I did not. Although written originally in 1974, the version I read was from 2004…Which was still 12 years outdated by my reading in 2016. The reason I put it down was because Schwartz was extremely long-winded, using too many words used to convey very simple ideas. For example, I don’t need a catalog of a grocery store inventory – which is provided in Chapter One – to understand that there are lots of items in a grocery store. I found myself putting the book down in my lap and throwing my head back in a sigh wishing I could fast-forward. I found, as the cover suggests, that more is less (the more I read this book the less happy I felt), and that the paradox of choice did not prevent me from tossing this book aside.
- Lolita This book is a classic and very well-regarded. But the subject matter is extremely intense, telling the story of a pedophile protagonist. I gave this book about two hours of my time before reaching my limit. Honestly, I just had a hard time getting through it and probably wasn’t in the right mental state (but, will I ever be?). I will give it another go in the future, but for now I will stick with my light-hearted comedic memoirs.
- Helter SkelterAh, the intense subject matter strikes again. This agonizing long (nearly 700 pages!) recounting of the Charles Manson murders is a big bite to chew. Although super interesting (you will not want to put it down for a few hundred pages), it is just too much murder! Especially since these are true stores that happened right here in my own backyard of Los Angeles. My recommendation: get the audio version and save if for your next road trip. I’ll make my way through this book in the coming months (realistically read: years).
- The Power of Habit Similar to the Paradox of Choice, The Power of Habit is a psychologist’s self-development dream subject. Despite great ratings, I just didn’t enjoy it. And honestly, that is due more to who I am rather than the book. I am a very driven, dedicated, tenacious, and stubborn person. When I say I am going to do something, you damn well better believe I am going to do it. I went from omnivore to vegan in a day and it lasted over a year (I then went vegetarian, pescatarian, and now I’m back to omni, FYI). I have healthy habits and I know how I form new ones (putting it on a to-do list works for me), so I didn’t find this book helpful or enlightening. My psychology background has taught me about the medical studies Duhigg references, like those of EP and HM, so I found the chapters dedicated to it boring and redundant. But again, that is just me. Many others have loved it, and you might too.
- Play Bigger So this is a book that I actually finished, but only because I was asked to read it for an entrepreneurship class in my MBA program (had it not been an assignment, I would not have finished it). While not a bad read, and definitely interesting and helpful, this book was redundant to no end. You could have easily have grasped all of the concepts in reading half of the book instead of its entirety. If you are interested in entrepreneurship, and want to learn about category design and how your company can become a category king, then pick this up and give it a skim (or maybe just search some YouTube summaries and save yourself a few hours).
There are so many other great books to read (see all of my reviews here!), so don’t fret about not loving each and every book you come across on the first attempt. Being the doer that I am (see #4), it was a challenge to put down these books. I mean, I listed five books in this post of ‘Books I Chose Not to Finish’ and out of those five I finished one and have plans to come back and finish two others! Maybe I do need help breaking this must-finish-book habit…. But I am still calling this resolution a win! Reading is something that I find fun and rewarding, not burdensome as these books were making it! When it comes to picking a good book, you win some, you lose some, but always on to the next one!
Which books didn’t make the cut for you? Let us know below.