To the Picky Readers

You don’t have to read every single book. Really, you don’t. Realistically, you won’t be able to anyway. There are hundreds of years worth of books by thousands of authors in the world right now. You just won’t be able to read everything. And you don’t have to try, either. I think we can all agree that just because a book exists, doesn’t mean it is worth reading.

You don’t have to read the books that are popular. Your tastes might be different. You might not connect with the book. Oh well. So what if the book is popular, it doesn’t mean you have to like it, or even read it. All popularity means is that other people like it, lots of other people. (or it means that other people have pretended to like it, but I am going to be hopeful and say that most people are telling the truth on social media) Maybe you will like it, maybe you won’t. Just realize that you don’t have to read it even though social media is blowing up over it.

You don’t have to read every book that is recommended to you. I promise, you really don’t. There are a few people who know me well enough, and whose tastes I trust enough, that I take their recommendations at face value. I know they will recommend a good book. Those people are few and far between. If a friend recommends a book, I go look at it, I do my usual process of deciding whether I should read it or not. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. It really all depends on the book. You don’t have to read everything recommended to you either. The person may have a similar taste, they may not. Recommendations are not laws (not usually anyway), and the choice is up to you.

All this to say, you get to decide what you read. Not social media, not my humble blog, not your friends. You, and you alone. (other than school, you should probably read your school books, probably…) Read what is good, what is helpful, what is lovely, what you enjoy. And toss the rest. Be a picky reader because not all books are going to be worth your time. You won’t miss out on anything, instead you will find the books you really like, and spend your time reading the things you love.

Shaina Merrick