« Reports of Child Sex Abuse by Women Rising | Main | Oh Yes! »

November 16, 2009

The New "Life's Too Short" Rule of Consumption

It used to be that saying "Life's too short" about giving up on a book or a movie was a very serious accusation of suckitude. The lesser insult was "I have better things to do."

But now I'm about halfway through my expected life span as an American. I've noticed recently, with books, movies, and even TV, that I'll give up on things much more easily, with the thought that I don't have all the time in the world to read (or watch) crap, and I still haven't read Moby Dick (or seen The Bicycle Thief) or whatever, so I shouldn't waste my time on this. I think it's a function of mid-life crisis.

It's also a real consideration, though. I'm genuinely starting to feel how limited time is and how crappiness is a terrible thing to waste my mind on. But I'm still working on the idea that I should finish every book I start, and still working with the sensation of failure when I don't.

Right now I'm trying to get through William Gibson's Virtual Light, which I picked up because it mentions Thomassons in it. Every time I pick it up, I'm reminded that: a) I still haven't read Neuromancer, b) I'm not all that interested in Gibson or cyberpunk, but really should read at least that one seminal text before I kick the bucket, and c) I'm not really into this book, but feel I should finish it since it's not at all a bad book.

So I think the new rule should be: since I'm going to spend this time reading anyway, but I'm never going to get this reading time back, should I really be reading THIS? Or more precisely, at the end of my life, if I were granted the power to remember every book I had read, would I regret wasting my time on this?

I think the answers are no and yes. So I'm kicking this book to the curb and instituting this as a rule.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451c59b69e20120a6a4c249970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The New "Life's Too Short" Rule of Consumption:

Comments

Sounds like a good rule to me. One of the most liberating things in my life was realising, after I'd done my drama degree, that there was no reason to stay till the end of a bad theatrical performance. Getting to the interval and going "do I *really* want to see more of this?" instead of feeling the compulsion to be polite to the actors is still exhilerating to me.

That's hilarious! I'm no longer exhilarated by giving up on something, but I'm also no longer depressed by it. It's just: "Oh well."

Yes but I'm English, remember, and the need to be polite (the actors might *notice* there's an empty space! They might be *upset*) is very strong.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Join My Mailing List!