When I was in college, I read a ton, but I bailed on most books I started. This wasn’t for a lack of attention, but rather was an abundance of intention. I wanted to read more of the things I wanted to read and less of the things I didn’t want to read.
Each semester, I needed to read over a thousand pages a week to keep up with the course work — never mind what I actually enjoyed reading outside of that.
I discovered that expanding my mind through reading was immensely satisfying. The fastest way toward expansion was to ingest as many ideas as possible as quickly as possible. But the trick was to only go deep into the areas that I was most interested in. If I finished every book I found boring, I’d be missing out.
In most academic writing, the author outlines their entire argument in their introduction. The hundreds of pages following are often to fill the rest of the book. I guess you can’t write a book if you don’t write all those extra pages.
Lots of authors hooked me with their introduction, and I caught myself, at two or three in the morning, realizing I had finished their book. Good on them.
Today, my nightstand is overflowing with books I want to read. I find myself starting five or six books at a time and letting the ideas crash into each other. I have books upstairs and downstairs, scattered across rooms. If I’m in a room and I want to read, I pick up a book and start reading.
I finish most of what I start, but I still don’t mind bailing on a book.