August 22, 2015

My Life as an Optimistic Reader

The glass is always half-full, right? That is the classic answer to the age old question if a half a glass of water is half full or half empty. It labels you as a optimist, which is not a bad thing.

I think that the glass is entirely full. If you really think about it, the glass is half-full of water AND half-full of air. Hence, the whole glass is full with something. It is definitely not the standard answer, but it is the one that I relate the most too.

Along with this cliche, I am also a fan of every cloud as a silver lining, when life gives you lemons you make lemonade, and things will always get better. I try to live my life by these cliches that have been said so many things that some people believe that they are starting to lose their meaning. For me, these words have been a lifeline, something to constantly remind myself that living a happy life is possible. So, I try to incorporate optimism into every aspect of my life. I have also found a lot of optimism creeping into my reading life. 

If you have been reading my blog for a while, then you should know that there has NEVER been a DNF review (at least so far). And that is because I rarely give up on books. I mean we are talking maybe one every year. There are several reasons for this phenomenon, but the main reason is that I am an overly optimistic reader. 

No matter how terrible the characters are, how slow the story is, how obvious the plot "twists" are, I always believe that a book is going to redeem itself. I like to think that the characters will go through some major development, the plot is eventually going to speed up, and maybe, just maybe, there might be a twist that throws me off guard. The book will shape up and end up surprising me. What can I say, I am a hopeful person.

In my mind, a completely bad book does not exist. There is always something, if not a redeeming quality, then just something that stops me from hating a book, that leads to my extremely low DNF rate.

But, that does not bother me. Sure, I will be disappointed that a book did not meet my expectations. On the other hand, I would rather go into every book expecting a five star read than just assume that every book I read will be terrible.

This concept also applies to authors. I will always assume, no matter how many negative reviews there are, that the next book my an author that I liked is going to be amazing. There is no room for doubt and skepticism in this matter. 

This way of thinking is not always easy. Actually, it is rather hard to keep up all of the time. Believe me, there are a lot of less than perfect books in the world, and I have encountered a lot of them. 

I know that this mindset is not always going to work. Books will disappoint and authors will change, for better or for worse. But, your disappointment is really based on how you perceive it. For example, after I finish a particularly terrible book, I could focus on all of the things that I hated and let that regret fester in my soul, or I can think about the things that I did like and remind myself that the next book could always be better. 

Unfortunately,  I am only right about 50% of the time. 

I am only human. (Even though I constantly wish I was born something more interesting like a wizard or a balf-blood.) I can only deal with so much before I explode (yes, this theory has been tested). I do hate some books. I dislike some authors. I have loves and hates like anyone else. But, I like to be more positive about the loves and hates that I decide to have. I refuse to fall into a reading slump or complain about a book that I happened to dislike. I would rather move an to another book, which may be better. I will not let the book ratings of the past affect the book ratings of the future.

Imagine how many reading slumps can be avoided just by being a little bit more positive. Imagine that you can finish a not-so-great book and still find something about it to make you happy. Imagine a world where the positive can overshadow the negative. That is a world I want to live in. And I am a little step closer by being an optimistic reader.

Would you consider yourself to be an optimistic reader? Are you optimistic with other aspects of your life? Do you want to be more optimistic? Do you have any tips to be more optimistic?

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