Read Whatever You Want To

I’ve never read the classics. I’m sure I read some at school, but overall they have never really appealed to me. Or maybe they’ve never been sold to me. It’s a bit like Avatar … people say “it’s good, watch it” but no one has told me why it’s good. Or “go to Melbourne, they have great shopping and coffee” and then no one can explain selling points past that when I tell them I don’t drink coffee and I dislike shopping. (I’m not anti-Melbourne, just the sales rhetoric that accompanies it.)


Read Whatever You Want To


Read Whatever You Want To


I think the other thing that puts me off of reading the classics is that they seem to be all about romance and social structures of bygone days… which doesn’t interest me a great deal. Gasp. Yes, the person whose undergraduate degree includes a minor in history and a major in anthropology and postgrad in social change isn’t interested in stuff related to that. I’ve let intellectual snobbery down, no doubts 🙂 I enjoy the topics academically, just not recreationally. 


I’ve also never really liked a genre though. Good is good, I don’t care where it’s from or who it was for (side note: probably why I hate and make fun of marketing so much). And good is subjective to personal tastes.


Anyway, I highly recommend that you read whatever you like. 


Psst, I’m looking at putting together some short courses this year on getting a book written. Make sure you sign up to my newsletter if you want to hear about them. I’m thinking one specifically for small biz owners, and one along the lines of “get your first draft done”. Probably $50.

11 Replies to “Read Whatever You Want To”

  1. Thanks for the “permission” to read what we like. You are so right – life is short. We should all be reading books that interest us, not those we think we “should” be reading.

  2. Did you see all of the stuff re ‘fan fiction’ on Twitter recently. Dissing it as a genre etc… I’m a strong believer in reading what you want. My brother and I were big readers growing up but I had two cousins (lived elsewhere) who refused. I suspect it’s because their mother / parents tried to force certain things on them. But I remember… though we were similar ages, reading the book about the trolls crossing the bridge and them both enjoying it. Even though I was young as well I remember thinking that perhaps they needed to be reading more things like that!

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I did vaguely see something online about fan fic but never bothered to go into it. It’s probably the same things I heard in around 2002 when I used to write it and I wasn’t interested in learning about an 18 year old argument 🙂

  3. I loved Avatar and I love Melbourne! LOL Avatar because it was such a beautiful visual and inclusiveness experience. It was 3d and the visuals were so beautiful and you felt part of it all and the storyline was gripping and emotive and well I bloody loved it and I can’t wait till the next one. Melbourne has incredible food and shopping as you’ve heard but aside from that it is a very different experience for a brisbane girl. Visiting in winter you can experience proper cold weather and enjoy wearing coats and scarves etc. It also feels like you’re in Europe. It’s an experience. Hard to explain but I love it. As for the classics – I’ve read a few but like you I’m not particularly drawn to them.

  4. I think it’s great to read anything and everything, and not get stuck in one genre. Whenever someone has loaned me a book I “should read” I’ve never enjoyed it so I agree with you, just read what you like!

  5. I love reading and I agree that we should read what we enjoy. Reading is a wonderful escape for me and I can easily get lost in a book for hours. However, I’ve just joined a book club. There are four of us and we want to read the classics. I’ve never been terribly good at taking the time to understand the classics but this group has really opened my eyes and we’ve discussed parts of the book which I would never have picked up. I’m enjoying it although British Crime is still my favourite. #lifethisweek

  6. It took me years to get the point that I’ll set aside a book if I’m not hooked after the first chapter! life is too short and there are too many books out to there to spend my time slogging through a book I “should” be reading rather than one I’ll actually enjoy reading!

  7. I love this post! I also read one or two classics at school. I tried a couple of years ago to ‘do the right thing’ and read some more, but I couldn’t get past the first page. It just isn’t interesting to me. So, I’ll read whatever it is I’ve got in front of me at the moment – probably a contemporary novel that will never be considered a classic, but it’s entertaining for me and that’s good enough. I also dislike shopping and don’t drink coffee. Melbourne – it’s good but I think it’s over-rated. Have a great week!

  8. My mother introduced me to some classics and when I was in school, in the semi-dark ages of the 1960’s we had required reading for summer. I read some books and really liked them, but others I could not get into. Part of the problem I think is language, writing style and all that jazz. the classics were written in a time period and culture so different from our own, that I think it has to be something that you get or connect with quickly. Couldn’t find a link to sign up for your newsletter. Might be interested in that class on publishing. Michele

  9. I tend to read what and when I want to and more often I listen on audible as its a great accompaniment in the car on my solo trips.

    I should have known but I got sucked in a bought a book (fiction, Australian, people raved about it) and BLEURGH it was basic, and so annoying in its premise. I admit I stopped….and then I donated it to the free library in the local P.O.
    If I buy another book (rare now) it will be something I have really sussed out first.

    Too little time to read stuff we are supposed to. And as for Melbourne, yes it was nice but I have coffee places I like here too. The novelty of Melb in 2011 and 2012 is that I went there for blogging events and they were tops fun!

    Thank you for linking up this week for #lifethisweek. Great to see you and your blog here! Next week it’s about #sharingoursnaps and that’s an optional prompt. Join in each week for a friendly connection in a great community on-line. I am very grateful to you all. Denyse.

  10. Definitely believe in reading what you want! It’s a hobby and it needs to be pleasurable. There’s no point in putting yourself through a shit load of pain if it’s not working for you.

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