When walking into a bookstore or local library, we are often attracted to authors or genres that strike our interest. We tend to stray to those types of books and scan through which book by that author we have not read yet, or dive into a similar style of writing. We often do this because we are comfortable and satisfied with those types of books we read and don’t want to take a risk on something else. The idea of diving into unfamiliar territory is scary to us readers.
You know what you should do? Walk past “the norm” of your liking and grab a book that is something completely out of your element. Let your mind get a taste of something else! What’s the harm in experimenting with knowledge? Grab a book that’s a genre that you’re unfamiliar with, has a different tone and writing style, and DO NOT put that book down until you’ve reached the ending.
As painful as it sounds, it’ll be worth it in the end. You’re probably wondering why would I ever want to read something that I don’t particular like and will literally bore me to death? How excruciating!
Let me make this simple; I am not here to tell you to read a terrible book. What I am saying is that you need to find a book that insults you. Yes, you read that right. Find a book that has you feeling offended because it will get your juices flowing and really make you think. You will be thinking about:
- What about this book offends me?
- Why do I feel this way?
- What are my thoughts/ overall feelings about the author’s point of view/ overall story?
These are just a few examples of what might be going through your mind.
As humans, we are inclined and drawn to certain things that grasp our interest. We tend to cling to certain types of television shows, movies, radio stations, podcasts, etc. If you start venturing off into something you wouldn’t normally go to, you’ll open up the gates of your mind to something else. A person might say “But I watched a movie that I normally wouldn’t so that’s me extending my interest.” Oh wow. A whole 1-2 hours. That’s nothing. Books are myriad amounts of pages and require HOURS to finish. Sticking it out for that long is more dedication. You are letting yourself into the author’s world and discovering why you agree or disagree with what they are saying. Remember: instead of getting frustrated with the book and thinking this book stinks, keep turning the pages and really analyze why you feel that way and why this book makes you uncomfortable.
I started reading when I was just five years old and of course at that age, I was reading books like “To Give a Mouse a Cookie” or the endless amounts of Dr. Seuss books. It was not until around late elementary school when my reading really took off. I found myself in lunch detention for a week (which was taken place in the library) and was bored out of my mind. I decided to scan the books just for fun. I came across a book titled “The Bad Beginning,” by Lemony Snicket. It was the first book in Snicket’s series called A Series of Unfortunate Events. The series was considered to be gothic fiction with satire aka nothing I have ever read before or even would think about reading. The book was weird, different, and scary. I was not the fondest of it. I found myself disagreeing with the plot and asking myself so many questions. Why did the children have powers? That can’t even happen. Why did Count Olaf want their money? I could not wrap my head around it. I wanted to put the book away, but realized I still had three more days left of lunch detention and decided to tough out the reading. As I continued reading, I found myself becoming more wrapped up in the book because I did not understand why this was happening and needed to know more. The book was annoying, yet intoxicating at the same time. I ended up reading the entire series!
Ever since then, my love for reading grew and my need to try different types of books enhanced as well. Every time I go to the bookstore, I venture off into my usual sections: Fiction Literature, Sci-Fi, Poetry, and Romance, but I always make sure to stop at a section I don’t particularly like.
Exploring and expanding your knowledge and your interest can really open up your mind to different things that you normally wouldn’t. Ultimately, you could even end up liking something that you thought you wouldn’t like!
Being able to bond over books you like with other people is fun, but it’s even more exciting when you share the same hatred for the same book. It’s a different type of bonding experience, especially because when you don’t like something or disagree with something, your blood boils! Now think of the intense, exuberating conversations you can have over the books you don’t like! Critics love talking about books they don’t enjoy. It makes for great conversation and interesting reviews.
Now, take ALL of what you just learned and implement it onto your children.
When it comes to parenting, we want children to experiment with new things. You can start this by having them try the task of reading a book they don’t like. This will open up their minds to trying other things, or even if they don’t like the book, now they know what types of books they are not fond of. For example, your daughter decides to take a step out of her comfort zone by deciding to read a scary book. She discovers after reading the book that she does not like scary books one bit. This will then give her the knowledge in the future to stay away from those types of books and possibly avoid scary movies. A second example would be let’s say your son experimented and read a book about cars. He’s never really been into cars, but decided to give it a shot. After reading the book, he tells you how awesome the book was and wants to learn more about cars. Your son has now developed a new hobby that is beneficial!
So, start off small and have your child explore the endless opportunities the book world has to offer.
Lastly, remember this: MAKE YOUR CHILD FINISH THE BOOK THAT THEY HATE! Try and have them work through those pages and really give it a chance.
Paul, Pamela. "Why You Should Read Books You Hate." The New York Times. The New York Times, 15 Apr. 2017. Web.