Books are unsentimental friends that will not be offended if I unfollowed them on twitter or donated them for fuel. Reading is an intimate relationship with a writer's mind. So if a book is meanly written, carelessly edited and leaves the reader with bitter taste of waste after EVERY PARAGRAPH, then neither book or reader will come out of it the wiser.
I rarely spend time with anything that is not CLASSICAL, preferably on the PUBLIC DOMAIN. (so I'm a cheap intellectual. Whatever.) The more available a classical is, the more people will take it for granted. Which is why I understand why people skip reading blogs from their list of daily to-dos.
See here, we already have complicated relationships with human friends, why complicate our relationship with books too? If it sucked, then don't bother wasting another minute of your very precious time on verbal diarrhea.
I blame Hemingway for my 18th century literary taste. In the "The Monologue of the Maestro" (PDF. must read if you want to write well. trust.), Hemingway's reason to reading only from dead writers was this:
"Most live writers do not exist. Their fame is created by critics who always need a genius of the season, someone they can understand completely and feel safe in praising, but when these fabricated geniuses are dead they will not exist."
I agree with Hemingway, especially because he's dead too. Also, if a book is a communication, and I'm struggling to respect the author (or even editor) through every page, then it is probably not worth the damn paper it has been printed on.
Look, the world is filled with awesome books that will leave you feeling like a better, smarter, bigger person. There are hunderds of books for every taste to last every one a lifetime's worth of reading (or listening). If we choose quality food and clothes for our outer appearances and bodies, why settle with anything less than the best for our minds and hearts?
Whatever you do, unless recommended by a trusted friend (who knows what kind of conversation needs to happen in your head at the moment of recommendation), the next book you pick has a lesser risk of being called garbage if it was on one an "ALL TIME Best of Reliable Source Book List"
- World Library 100 Best Books of All Time
- Le Monde's 100 Books of the Century
- 100 Must-Read Books: The Essential Man’s Library
- All TIME 100 Best Novels
- Guardian's 100 Greatest Novels and 100 Greatest Non-Fiction
- Booker Man Prize Winners
- Pulitzer Prize Winners for Fiction
- Nobel Prize Winners in Literature
- For easy way to pick amongst the best audiobook recordings on Librivox, there's is always the Staff Picks indexes.
There's just too many good books in the world to read and our time on earth is too brief to be wasted on Publishing Industry X's BESTSELLER'S LIST.