Excursions by Amit Gawande

Selecting and Reading Books

I keep mentioning every time I get a chance that I am too picky while selecting the books I read. So it was fascinating to read few suggestions from Austin Kleon on how to read more. Especially his first tip - quit reading books you don’t like

It helps if you choose the right books in the first place. Stop reading what you think you should be reading and just read what you genuinely want to read.

Yep, I follow this rule diligently. And I have my own list of gems” that just aren’t for me.

I also keep my currently reading list loaded with multiple books at a time. Some are as audiobooks, some as e-books. (It’s been very long since I read a paperback and it was primarily because I just don’t enjoy them.)

Feel free to read promiscuously — date 3 or 4 books at the same time until one makes you want to settle down with it.

I do that, but not for the reason Austin mentions. I just like to hop between books at times. Many a times before I give up on one.

I really liked these quotes that Austin has included in his post. Ah, I think I need to read a lot more.

Nobody is going to get any points in heaven by slogging their way through a book they aren’t enjoying but think they ought to read.

—Nancy Pearl

There is only one way to read, which is to browse in libraries and bookshops, picking up books that attract you, reading only those, dropping them when they bore you, skipping the parts that drag — and never, never reading anything because you feel you ought, or because it is part of a trend or a movement. Remember that the book which bores you when you are twenty or thirty will open doors for you when you are forty or fifty — and vice-versa. Don’t read a book out of its right time for you.

—Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook

reading opinion
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