Musing Mondays: Culling vs. Surrendering

Musing Mondays: Culling vs. Surrendering(Musing Mondays is a meme hosted by Should Be Reading. Just click on the image to share your answer to this week’s musing!)

This week’s musing is: “There’s a discussion on NPR about the simple fact that there’s no way you can read, see, and experience all the things that are available to be experienced. The two methods for dealing with it are culling (cutting out certain genres that don’t interest you) or surrender (just making peace with the facts and enjoying what you can in the time you have).

So, do you cull, or do you surrender? Or do you do both?

My musing

I definitely do both (like most people, I’d surmise), but I think I rely a bit more on culling.

  1. If I see a book that looks interesting, I read reviews about it, whether on the blogs I follow or the Goodreads boards. If it doesn’t seem like something I’d enjoy, I pass on it.
  2. I save money by only buying the books I’m pretty certain I’ll love. If I get a book at the library and don’t like it, it’s not as big a deal.
  3. I try really hard to follow my 50 page rule: if I don’t love a book by page 50, I give up.
  4. I avoid genres and authors I know I won’t enjoy. For example, I recently gave up on trying to like dystopian novels.

As for surrendering…I guess I just accept the fact that there are billions of books out there, and I just won’t be able to read them all. Why moan over the ones I can’t read when I can spend that time enjoying a few more stories?

Happy 4th of July to my American readers, and happy Canada Day to our northern neighbors! Go outside and enjoy the sunshine!

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8 Responses

  1. Vicki July 4, 2011 / 12:36 pm

    I generally don’t surrender because if I start a book, I have to finish it. Don’t know why, it’s just how I am. So I tend to be really picky about going out of my comfort zone.

    • bookzilla July 4, 2011 / 12:39 pm

      I know what you mean, Vicki. My 50 page rule often feels “more like guidelines, anyway.” ;) In reality there are extremely few books that I’ve actually put down unfinished. Thanks for stopping by, and happy 4th!

  2. caite@a lovely shore breeze July 4, 2011 / 1:39 pm

    I think I tend more to surrender.
    Sure, you must cull to some degree (so many books, so little time…), but I also think you have to stay a little open to every genre. Especially if it come with a really strong recommendation. :-)

    But I do love the 50 page rule!!

    • bookzilla July 6, 2011 / 11:34 pm

      I try to keep an open mind about genres (although I’m pretty much done with dystopian), but I consider surrendering to be more of an overarching idea. Sometimes it helps to remind myself that it’s just not possible to read everything, and that that’s okay. Keeps me from freaking out. :)

      I wish I could remember who I “stole” the 50 page rule from. It’s a good one, but I confess that I rarely keep to it. A book has to be really, really bad for me to leave it unread; I’m too Type-A to not finish what I’ve started.

  3. Yvonne July 4, 2011 / 4:06 pm

    I do both for the most part. I will read other genres, but basically I still to my favorites (unless I hear great things about other genres).

    • bookzilla July 4, 2011 / 5:14 pm

      I think a lot of people are like that, Yvonne: creatures of habit. :) I tend to stick to what I know I’ll like, but that can get boring; so sometimes I try new things, just to see where it takes me. If nothing else, it’s always an adventure.

  4. Javi July 4, 2011 / 11:24 pm

    I actually use both ways of dealing not just with books, but with media overall. Magazines, online articles, podcasts, TV shows, movies… most of it I surrender to, but I move at a pace that works for me. But sometimes, I get into new things and I feel like everything suffers because I can’t knock them out in a timely manner. So a few times a year, I cull. I cut stuff out because it doesn’t serve me the way it once did. Even though it makes sense, it’s really tough to let certain stuff go… which is why I only cull a couple of times a year.

    • bookzilla July 5, 2011 / 6:40 pm

      I cull as I go, especially as regards books. And then several times a year I cull books that I actually own, because I’m running out of shelf space. :p

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