There are some truly atrocious pieces of work that are still acceptable to love. Guilty pleasures, if you will. On my list are shows from TLC, the book Lovers and Players (you never see that twist at the end!), countless terrible movies my friends can’t believe I love, etc. There’s a line, though, that we as consumers of media need to draw between guilty pleasures, and wanting to drop things we hate but feel obligated to continue with.
I personally have never walked out of a movie. If it’s terrible, I end up adding my own, under-breath commentary to it. Just ask my friends; they hate taking me out to theaters. Books, however, I feel have less immediate social pressure convincing you to stick with
There have been times when, curled up in bed, I’ve held a book in my hands that is uninteresting or just plain terrible, and I’ve actually felt guilty about putting it down! Sometimes, it’s because I don’t want to seem like a quitter. Other times, I feel like I owe the book one more chapter, maybe it’ll turn itself around…?
Time and time again, though, I’ve come to the end of a story and been deeply unsatisfied. To this I say, let’s make a pact to not continue with something if we truly dislike it. Recently, I even read that doing exercises you hate is even bad for you. Why suffer through another movie or novel or workout that takes a toll on your happiness? Unless, of course, your teacher is demanding you finish Catcher in the Rye (and for that, I’m truly sorry, but you’ve got to do it).
Guilt trip keeping you from stopping? Shut it down. Remember: your time and attention are valuable, and they should be spent enriching your life rather than disappointing you.
What’s on your to-read/to-watch list this week? For me, it’s The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen by Jacques Pépin and FINALLY, I get to watch Memoirs of a Geisha, which remains one of my all-time favorite books!