It’s OK To Give Up On a Book

It’s ok to give up on a book.

Your time is your most valuable resource; don’t waste it reading books you don’t enjoy. There’s no sense of pride in finishing a 400-page book that you never enjoyed, or better yet, didn’t even understand. Just because the book you’re reading is considered a “classic” or a “must-read” or it was recommended to you by a close friend, it doesn’t mean you have to finish it, or like it for that matter.

If you don’t like it you don’t have to read it. 

I’ve given up on dozens of books. In fact, it’s the books I give up on that actually make my conviction stronger to continue reading more books. It’s the quest to find the next great one that keeps me searching. Just like music, you have your favorite artists and genres, but there’s always a continual search for something new or better. A song or an artist that makes you think, “Where has this been all my life?!”

Oftentimes, we get sucked into the Sunk Cost Fallacy – when we’re reluctant to quit something because we’ve invested heavily in it, even when it is clear that abandonment would be more beneficial.

If you’ve already spent two weeks reading Cather in the Rye, you can’t give up on it now! You spent $14 on it. But life’s not moving any slower, and as painful as it is, you’re not getting that $14 back either.

Put the bookmark in, close the book, put it back on the bookshelf, and move on with your life!

There are plenty of books in the sea. Or library… You know what I mean.

Here’s a list of books I gave up on

  • Thus Spoke Zarathustra
  • Extreme Ownership
  • Radical Candor
  • Principles: Life & Work
  • Crime and Punishment
  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck
  • The Beginning of Infinity
  • Superintelligence
  • Manufacturing Consent
  • Walden
  • On the Road
  • The Artist’s Way
  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things
  • Benjamin Franklin
  • Like a Virgin
  • Memories, Dreams, Reflections
  • Disunited Nations
  • Wild
  • Mythos
  • Bad Blood




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