Quit a book if it does not interest you. That was the advice the well known author had put forth in an article. Sacrilege! I thought. I never quit a book. Not only that, I read it from cover to cover. When I say that I mean it literally. I read everything from the front matter down to the last word in the acknowledgments. But truth be told there were quite a number of books I was stuck with. I wouldn’t admit even to myself that I had quit reading them. But there they were on my bookshelf with the bookmarks pointing an accusing finger at me. So why not quit a book if it doesn’t interest me? That was dangerous. I’d lost count of the number of books that had turned out to be excellent though they had uninteresting beginnings. I wouldn’t want to miss an interesting book that had come my way. So was there a solution? Yes. Quit a book if you’ve read a third of it and still find it dull. That would be safe. But then again, one couldn’t be very sure.
This is an interesting thought I came across yesterday while reading. We often fail when we try to develop new habits or get rid of old ones because we have an all-or-nothing attitude. If, for example, we are trying to exercise regularly and we miss one day, we give up entirely. We think – Oh, I didn’t exercise yesterday, so now the routine is broken. What good is to come of it? We then experience failure. But instead, we should forgive ourselves the slip and continue with the routine. We may have aimed for five days a week but four or even three is better than nothing. Less than perfect is okay.
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