Yesterday, Jessica discussed Laura Miller’s book on CS Lewis, and today I bring you more of her wisdom, this time from Salon. Earlier this week, Miller recommended we all try something new in 2010: read a book we think we won’t like. I’ll admit that while I’ve grown much more open since I began working in publishing, with my personal reading, I invariably leap for the same sorts of books I’ve always loved. My “free time” reading piles at home have the same general character as the ones that were in my college dorm rooms. When taking the luxury of reading purely for my own enjoyment, I rarely think it’s worth reading trying something I’m not naturally excited about. But I know from my professional experience that sometimes wonderful books are hiding in categories we hesitate to touch or under plots that seem at first glance unappealing.
I’m not generally one for New Year’s resolutions (as it’s universally acknowledged that those are merely things we pretend we’re going to do or else we’d have begun them when we decided they were important rather than arbitrarily on January 1st…er, 7th…oh, by early February at the latest), but I’ll take Miller’s suggestion on in 2010: I will read, for my personal reading, at least one book I’m convinced I will hate.
Since I’m the naturally contrary sort, it shouldn’t be too hard to find something wonderful that I’d normally shove aside. And hey, if I do hate it, I might’ve wasted my time, but I’ll also feel totally vindicated.
Is anyone else prepared to take on this challenge? And does anyone have ground rules about what’s unreadable as delightful and random as Miller’s? If anyone has a graphic novel about 20-something magicians living on a ranch in Prague while working in the silent movie business and feeling disenchanted with their relationships with rabbis, they may want to suggest their publicist steer clear of Miller’s desk at review time. (But they should probably send that manuscript to me, because I bet it’s amazing!)