Here’s a reading challenge: Pick up a book you’re pretty sure you won’t like — the style is wrong, the taste not your own, the author bio unappealing. You might even take it one step further. Pick up a book you think you will hate, of a genre you’ve dismissed since high school, written by an author you’re inclined to avoid. Now read it to the last bitter page.
This is the advice of Pamela Paul in The New York Times. I read the article while waiting for the library to open and having no real plans for what I was going to check out, I decided to try the advice.
Which is harder then you think. The very first book I pulled off the shelf looked like one I’d normally enjoy…so I kept it. The following two, and I was pulling these at total random, also looked enjoyable, but I put them back.
The second I kept doesn’t sound that appealing, but it was compared to another novel I surprisingly enjoyed about ten years ago.
For the third selection I searched and searched till I found one that I could see no reason why I might like it.
Then I quickly checked out before I could change my mind. Will have to see which of these, if any, I end up hating.
It can be interesting, and instructive, when a book provokes animosity. It may tell you more about a subject or about yourself, as a reader, than you think you know. It might even, on occasion, challenge you to change your mind.
I want to experience this.