Hate Reading

Me reading this book.

I just finished a book I did not like, but I mainly finished it because I paid $2 for it and wanted to get my money’s worth.

I didn’t know much about the book going into it, but it was recommended to me a few years ago by my then counselor for reasons I’ve since forgotten. I hated this book.

The book is everything wrong with self-help books: easy chapters with easy answers. The premise of the book is about saying no and finding balance in your life. I believe that finding balance when you’re a self-employed author and professional pollyanna comes easier to you than 99% of the population.

Now to be fair, I know work life balance can be hard, but it’s the author’s solutions and packaging of said solutions, that I take issue with.

In this author’s case, she retreats multiple times to her house in Michigan and finds answers on endless weekends there. Sorry, but I don’t own two houses.

Like the author, I travel for work too, but I don’t shame myself about it. I don’t like traveling and being away from my family either, but I set expectations with my manager and my family, and do my best to set and maintain those boundaries.

I also didn’t solve all of my marriage issues in a single walk in Seattle. That’s bullshit – nobody does that.

It dawned on me about a third of the way through the book, that the book is more a devotional than anything else; there’s nothing wrong with that. However you care to describe the book, it’s manic pixie dream self-help: embrace life and its infinite mysteries and adventures. The author tries to come off as reformed in her ways, but writing a book about having it all and solving everything in a couple paragraphs reeks of class entitlement.

I understand it’s very hard for people to say “No” and find balance in their life. I don’t think I’ve struggled with this personally or professionally, and I’m starting to wonder why the heck this was recommended to me in the first place. However, I wanted my money’s worth and I slogged through this indulgent tripe, cringing with every page turn.

Hate reading isn’t the “so bad it’s good” kind of reading. Hate reading is reading something and wishing my enemies do not read the same book to spare them the intellectual torture.

I also want my $2 back.