I read a lot. Novels, history, and political science. I also listen to a lot of audiobooks and podcasts discussing writing and literature. The written word is my preferred form of relaxation and entertainment.
Reading is not my job, finishing novels is not my duty. I read histories and biographies because they provide me hours of entertainment and bring me joy. My primary reason for reading is not self-improvement, or professional gain. I’m not a paid reviewer or critic, and I have no responsibility to engage with any of the work. My reading and writing is strictly for my own pleasure.
Because of this I have no qualms about abandoning novels after a few chapters. I have no reservations about giving up on a series after a disappointing episode. I recently gave up on Tim Mason’s The Darwin Affair, a plodding historical mystery that lacked mystery and did not capture my imagination. I got a good halfway through the book and decided that spending time in that world did not entertain me and did not bring me any joy. Sometimes I stop a series because I don’t like the aesthetic. Larry Correia’s Monster Hunter books are fun reads but I don’t enjoy urban fantasy action. I read the first, found it fun, yet, not to my taste, so I moved on. I have no compulsion to slog through entertainment I don’t enjoy.
I wanted to talk about this topic because my social media feeds are currently overwhelmed with Star Wars negativity. Post after post about how much people didn’t like the new movie. Posts from people that hated the last five movies. My question to them is why did you go see it? You didn’t enjoy the last one so why put yourself in a situation that brings discomfort. Entertainment should bring you joy, it should relax you, or make you think, or enrich you. It should not bring you so much displeasure.
I don’t understand the mindset that causes an individual to consume entertainment that they don’t enjoy. Why force yourself to read novels you don’t like? Why sit through a movie or television show that doesn’t bring you joy? So you can post negativity about it? The truth is nobody cares. Nothing you have to say about it matters to anyone and most likely your opinion will not be seen by many.
Life is short and often filled with negativity. Do not wallow in it. Do not create more of it. Novels, art, film, plays, and videogames are all forms of entertainment. They are meant to bring joy. If you are not enjoying yourself move on to something that does entertain you. Life is too short to focus on things you don’t like and spread negativity.
There is so much great material out there. Find it, read it, watch it, post about it, share it with your friends. Find what you love and make that the topic of your posts and videos. The world does not need another negative take down of Star Wars or whatever the latest trend. Your time is better spent creating art and enjoying yourself.