When I interview people about their reading and ask, “Do you give up on a book you don’t like?” people usually get a pained expression and say something like, “Well I’d like to be able to give up. I should give up. But I find it hard to.”I've been getting better at this — recently I passed on Earthwalk, Wilber's The Marriage of Sense and Soul, and Fabric of the Cosmos. Sadly though, two of these were audiobooks I actually purchased yet couldn't bring myself to finish. Oh well.
Ring a bell? It’s the reading equivalent of the clean-your-plate syndrome...
The wisdom of giving up on books is compelling. New York University professor Atwood H. Townsend wrote in his Good Reading: A Helpful Guide for Serious Readers, “Never force yourself to read a book that you do not enjoy. There are so many good books in the world that it is foolish to waste time on one that does not give you pleasure and profit.”
Several years ago, when I was traveling and doing lots of meditating, these would have been more appealing. No longer, however. These days I either want to be entertained while I'm commuting, or be learning about things relevant to my life. (though this could change at any time!)