Life Lessons from the Library: Life Is Too Short to Read Bad Books.

Today’s lesson is one that took me a long time to learn. As an avid reader, I always had a sense that if a book wasn’t working, then the problem was with me, not the book itself. So I soldiered on through pages and pages that made little sense to me.

But working in a library, I was surrounded by a basic fact: there are many more books than can ever be read. Now I knew this intellectually, but now I am literally faced by the sheer number each day. And my library is just one of millions. And life, unfortunately, is not unlimited.

So one day, I was reading a book to see if it was worthy of being reviewed for a weekly newspaper. About fifty pages in, I knew two things: I didn’t care who committed the murder, and I didn’t care about the guy who was investigating that murder. So I emailed my boss and said the book wasn’t review-worthy. And then I did the unthinkable (at least for me), I closed the book and put it in my give-away bag. And guess what? The world didn’t end.  None of my English major friends stopped talking to me. And I never for a second wondered what happened in that book. 

I spread this idea to other aspects of my life. Watching a television show on Netflix, I realized I didn’t much care if the hero made it through or not. So I sent the disk back and deleted all the other episodes from my queue. I realized that I didn’t have to spend time with people who belittled me or didn’t particularly support me in my goals. There were many good people out there who did.

 In life, like in the library, there are many choices. But sometimes we get stuck in a bad choice, forgetting that we have options. So close the bad book, turn off the bad movie, and consider other options to the bad job. Life is indeed too short.


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