"The war of art" and other books I did not finish reading

"The war of art" and other books I did not finish reading

Who should read “The war of art” by Steven Pressfield? It seems that the book is intended to be read by writers. I am not a writer (yet?), so is it for me? I decided to give it a try anyway because I wanted to try something different. This approach worked well when I read about the history of shipping containers.

In the case of “The war of art,” trying something different failed me. I can’t blame the book. The book is not dull. It is quite well written. It consists of tons of short chapters. One page long chapters. If I didn’t like one of them, I could skip it and read the next one. I tried skipping chapters… repeatedly, for almost twenty pages.

What was the problem? I am not the target group. I don’t write books. I don’t write short stories. Well, I did write a short story once, but I don’t do it anymore.

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I wonder whether I should feel bad about not finishing a book. On the one hand, I write about it. I have an opinion about a book I have not finished reading. For some people that is a mortal sin. If I told them, I would hear their scream: “How dear you?! You don’t know that book yet.” I used to agree with that point of view.

On the other hand, a bad book is like a disgusting meal at a restaurant. When I eat something, and I don’t like its taste I just stop eating it. Nobody expects from you to wait until you finish eating before you have an opinion about a meal.

I could force myself to read that book from the beginning to the end. I won’t do that. It would take me three times longer to finish it, and I would not remember anything I read.

It would be just terrible time-management. You can read more good books if you skip the lousy ones.

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Bartosz Mikulski
Bartosz Mikulski * data scientist / software engineer * conference speaker * organizer of School of A.I. meetups in Poznań * co-founder of Software Craftsmanship Poznan & Poznan Scala User Group